Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town offices of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public and Conveyancer with many years of experience in the field of property law and conveyancing. She is also the firm's Marketing Director and attends to external publications for the firm as well as conducts ongoing training for estate agent and bankers training and is a regular seminar presenter for attorneys and property practitioners.

Property Law Update | Illegal use of property: Bite the bullet and pay the penalties

City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality v Zibi and Another (234/2020) [2021] ZASCA 97; [2021] 3 All SA 667 (SCA) (9 July 2021)

The property owners in this matter rented out rooms in their home to students and young professionals, rendering the property a “commune” for purposes of the relevant municipal zoning. They did not bother to comply with the zoning provisions and apply for permission or stop the letting business, but after years of receiving contravention notices from the municipality, decided to challenge the manner in which the municipality levied penalty rates – all the way to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The latter held that a municipality was entitled to levy a penalty rate for illegal or unauthorised use, without first changing the category of the property on its valuation roll from ‘residential’ to ‘illegal or unauthorised’ use. Not only was the charging of the penalty aligned with the municipality’s policy; to hold differently would cause an unreasonable administrative burden on municipalities were it required that a supplementary valuation roll had to be published in respect of every unlawful use of a property.

Summary of the Judgment

The Judgment

For the best legal advice and personalised service, let's talk