Opening and closing rates accounts

Ensure that the purchaser opens his/her account before you close yours as a Seller

The property is registered at the Deeds Office into the name of the purchaser;

The transferring attorneys send a letter to the municipality stating that registration has occurred;

Within eight weeks of registration of the property, the Deeds Office sends information via direct link to the municipality so that they may update their systems;

The municipality should then respond to this information received by closing the sellers rates account and by opening the purchaser's rates account;

This is where the problem arises as more often than not this is not done by the Municipality;

Therefore, the seller needs to close his or her rates account and the purchaser is required to open a new rates account with the Council;

Importantly, the seller will be unable to close his or her account if the purchaser has not opened his or her account;

This is to protect the Municipality so that there is always an account linked to a property;

Therefore, the purchaser needs to attend the offices of the Municipality and open a new account in his or her name;

The purchaser must have the following documents at his or her disposal in order to open a new account: a letter from the transferring attorneys stating that the seller's property has been transferred into the name of the purchaser; and ID documents for the purchaser;

A purchaser will know when his or her account has been opened when the new account numbers are issued to him or her;

Once the purchaser has successful opened his or her account with the Municipality being equipped with a new account number, he or she should inform the seller that this has been done.