Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town branch of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public, Conveyancer and Insolvency Practitioner with many years of experience in the fields of property law, conveyancing and the laws relating to corporate compliance (especially in respect of the FICA and POPIA laws). Up until 2018 she was also head of the firm’s national marketing portfolio. She is a seasoned public speaker and presenter, both in person and online. She prepares text for the majority of STBB’s internal and external publications and is editor and co-writer for two pivotal publications in the South African real estate industry – the ABC of Conveyancing (JUTA) and Delport’s South African Property Law and Practice (JUTA).

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

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