Town Planners’ Advice on Property Sub-Division in South Africa

Sub-division of residential or commercial property is often done with the purpose of selling the portions in order to make a profit. However, doing it wrong can lead to delays in getting permission. In addition, one can also suffer severe financial losses as the result of incorrect procedures followed. To this end, it is essential to make use of the services offered by town planners in helping to ensure the seamless sub-division of property.

What Is a Sub-Division of Property?

It is a formal process whereby one piece of land, whether such is agricultural, commercial, industrial, or residential, is divided into more than one portion. This is normally done with the help of professionals, such as town planners and land surveyors.

Factors to Consider

It is important to consider the size of the land. The land use management policies, in addition to zoning regulations of a particular area, may prevent you from dividing a property into smaller pieces because the size of the land is not sufficient to meet the minimum requirements.

A plot of 2 000 m2 in one suburb can, for instance, be divided into four stands. In another area, the restriction on the land’s size may limit you to dividing the plot into two plots of no smaller than 1 000 m2 each. In yet another area, you may be prohibited from dividing the stand because it is already of the minimum size. The area where the piece of land is located thus plays an important role. To this end, town planners will examine the zoning regulations of a particular area and advise you accordingly.

Also, consider the location of the main structure, such as a house on the plot. If the house is in the middle of the stand, it may be challenging to get the sub-division plans through, as you will need to ensure access to the other plot. Town planners and land surveyors are able to assist in determining the viability of a sub-division based on the location of the structures on the piece of land. It is, for instance, easier to sub-divide if the main structure is located more to the one side of the property than in the middle.

Servitudes registered on the piece of land should also be considered. A part of the property may have servitude for access rights, power cables, pipes, or water supply. To this end, our town planners can assist in determining whether there are restrictive servitudes on the property.

What Are Your Sub-Division Options?

Once the zoning regulations and potential for success with sub-division have been examined by the town planners, you can consider your options regarding the stand. For one, you can sub-divide the plot, keep your home, and sell the other plot or plots. You can also decide to demolish the structure and sell all the plots, or to demolish your home and develop the property into sectional title townhouses. Another option is to sub-divide the property with the help of the town planners and then keep your house as is, but also build other houses or flats on the other stands to rent out.

How the Process Works

Firstly, get in touch with our town planners for advice and due diligence regarding sub-division options for the property. They will apply to local authorities on your behalf for sub-division. Once the local council approves the sub-division, a land surveyor must be appointed to submit the proposed sub-division to the council. To this end, our town planners work with a qualified land surveyor to handle the measurement and application. The council will consider servitudes and construction limitations. The surveyor will draft plans and diagrams, which are submitted to the local council. Servitudes, such as stormwater pipes, building restriction lines, drain inspection covers, and power lines, must be considered. The land surveyor will place specific beacons on the property for the development of the property.

The town planners will then notify the Deeds Office regarding the changes to the property and a deeds attorney will handle the registration of a new deed for the property. Once done, the property can be developed according to your plans.

Keep in mind that owners of neighbouring properties must also give permission for the sub-division and environmental regulations must also be met. Our town planners will also assist with these processes.

Get in touch with our team of town planners to help you apply for sub-division of land in South Africa.