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Is it possible to get an "already built" structure on my property approved by the municipality? PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 March 2012

"I just wanted to know, is it at all possible to get a structure that has already been built approved by the municipality?

It is a second dwelling.

Any info will be greatly appreciated."

There are a number of issues involved here. The first will be your property Title Deed conditions. If there is a clause which states that only one dwelling may be built on the property then the application to build a second dwelling on the property will be turned down by the municipality, even if their own Zoning Regulations allow such applications to be made. You would first have to have that clause removed from your Title Deed.

The second issue is that your property is most likely Zoned as "Single Residential" by the municipality and you may therefore only construct one dwelling on it. In order to build a second dwelling you will, in all likelihood, have to apply for re-zoning to "General Residential."  Whether this will be granted is completely another matter. This also involves a long process including neighbour consent, advertising and more.

If all the above criteria have been met, then you would need to get someone to draw an "as built" plan of your property, showing all the building work on it that has not previously been approved and submit your application to the municipality for approval. Their will be a "fine" imposed for illegal building work which is generally three times the original plans scrutiny fee charged by the municipality. If the building has been built in such a way as to transgress the local or national building regulations such as building line distances, room sizes or heights, plumbing or electrical work, parking, etc., then there is a fair chance that these will have to be corrected or demolished.

You would also need to appoint an engineer to inspect and certify all the structural elements within the building such as the foundations and the roof structure as part of the submission of your plans.

Most municipalities view illegal building work as a serious offence and become quite sticky if such work is done so please treat the issue with great circumspection.

I hope that this helps you.

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