James Phillipson is a director based at STBB's Cape Town office. He specialises in residential and commercial property. James joined STBB in 2005 after working in the Insolvency arena in the UK for several years. James serves on the firm's Executive Committee.

Thought of the Week | SUBDIVISION: Things You May Not Know

Property owners sometimes consider subdividing a property in order to benefit financially from selling off portions of their land. There are quite a few steps to follow.

On the one hand, subdivision must be permitted in terms of applicable zoning provisions, local authority by-laws and provincial legislation. The approval of the local authority is therefore an important requirement. Additional requirements may include obtaining the consent of the applicant’s neighbours, or an engineer’s report regarding services if the subdivision is of a complex nature. (In instances where the subdivision relates to agricultural land, ministerial consent is required.)

On the other hand, the status of the land in the deeds registry must be changed. This entails instructing a land surveyor to draw up plans of the envisaged subdivision(s), which are then submitted to the Surveyor General for approval. Only then can a conveyancer lodge an application for registration of the subdivision. Bear in mind that, if the property is bonded, the bondholder’s consent must also be lodged in the deeds office.

Should you consider subdividing, contact STBB for assistance in obtaining the necessary consents and to manage the process on your behalf.