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Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Building a second dwelling on my property: What is the best way to go?

I want to erect a second property on my erf, +- 150m2. Some builders advised me to build it as a “granny flat” and then do a sectional title a year later, and other have advised me to firstly subdivide the property.

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What is the least painful and fastest way to erect the second property?

Les's advice follows:

Your question is a complicated one because the answers will differ with respect to the current Zoning Schemes of the various municipalities.

If your Title Deed states that you may only have a single dwelling on your property, then under the current Zoning Regulations, building a "Granny Flat" will require that your Title Deed be altered and that particular clause be removed. Currently this is at least a six month process because of the advertising period required, as well as neighbours' consent, motivations, applications, etc. If you get any objections then the application will fail.

The laws around the whole Sectional Title scene are also quite complicated compared to a straight subdivision, because there will need to be a Body Corporate established and a pile of legal issues would need to be attended to. The property in the case of Sectional Title is jointly owned by both parties or a Trust but where all parties pay levies to cover common items like rates, water, maintenance, etc. The subdivision process will also take time but, depending on the local Zoning Scheme, will not necessarily be subject to any neighbour consent or legal issues and it will be a clean sale if you wish to sell it off.

You should be permitted to construct a dwelling, plus garage, plus an outbuilding on your property.  The conditions of your present Title Deed will automatically transfer to the subdivided property. The only issue is that you would need to abide by the council Zoning Regulations concerning building setbacks on the subdivided property which may or may not be a problem in your case. If you build on to your current building with the intention of sectioning off the new extension later, you may find that you run into difficulties with the zoning scheme for your area.

My advice would be that you discuss the various options with the Town Planning branch of your local municipality before you make any decision on the subject.

If you have any further queries, please contact me.

Les Abbott
Technical and Marketing


Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 August 2011 )
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