Warning to home owners

2015-10-29 06:00

The City is aware that private residential properties are increasingly being used for various activities, for example as small churches or places of worship, businesses and crèches.

While these uses are welcomed, property owners need to ensure that the use of their property is in line with the zoning of the premises and, where applicable, consent for alternative uses must be obtained.

A property zoned Single Residential allows for a dwelling house to be constructed. It also allows for additional uses such as home occupation, a bed and breakfast establishment (no more than six paying guests and no more than three rooms being used for guests), and home child care (a small crèche of up to six children). These additional uses are subject to certain limitations.

Owners of properties zoned for Single Residential 1 purposes must apply for and be granted a consent use or temporary departure if they do not comply with the limitations for additional uses; or want to operate a place of worship, small business (such as a house shop), guest house or crèche (more than six children); or want to build a second dwelling on the property.

If they fail to do so, for whatever reason, they will be in contravention of the property’s zoning rights.

The City of Cape Town’s Municipal Planning By-law permits the City to take a variety of actions in respect of an unlawful land use.

An owner may make application to rectify the unlawful land use or building work, but will be required to pay an administrative penalty.

Legal action is the absolute last resort, therefore, property owners are encouraged to visit their local district planning office to verify whether the current use of the property complies with the zoning of the premises and, if not, what process they need to follow in order to comply with applicable legislation or to avoid further action.

The City’s land use and building inspectors are available to help property owners with any queries they may have regarding zoning matters and building applications so that together we can ensure that families and businesses can enjoy legally compliant, well-constructed, safe spaces.

Complaints relating to possible land use and building contraventions are to be submitted in writing to the City’s Property Enforcement Section at their local planning district office for their investigation.

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