Rates Clearance Certificate: How to get your Rates Figures

Rates Clearance Certificate: How to get your Rates Figures

Buying and selling a property comes with a lot of paperwork. One of the most important documents is the Rates Clearance Certificate, also known as Rates Figures. 

This is a document that proves that you as the seller have your rates bill in full, and no amount is outstanding before the sale goes through.

Whether you own a freehold property or sectional title, you are required to obtain the certificate so that the conveyancer can present the document when putting the transfer through at the Deeds Office. The transfer of the property cannot go through without the submission of the rates figures.

What are Rates Clearance Figures?

Section 118 of the Municipal Systems Act 32/2000, states that a Registrar of Deeds may only register the transfer of a property on the production of a rates clearance certificate which shows that all amounts owed in relation to the property two years prior to the application date for the RCC have been paid in full.

How to get your Rates Clearance Certificate

The appointed conveyancer will apply to the relevant local authority to issue the “Rates Clearance figures”. These figures are a breakdown of the outstanding debts. The conveyancer will request this outstanding amount from the seller. Once all outstanding and assessment amounts have been paid by the seller then the RCC will be issued.

Where to apply for Rates Figures

Rates Clearance Certificate

Rates Figures are obtained from the City Council and they verify that the seller does not owe any money to the municipality for the two year period preceding the date of application for the Rates Figures. A conveyancer can apply for the certificate from the following places:

Rates Clearance Certificate Johannesburg

Rates Clearance Certificate Tshwane (Pretoria)

Rates Clearance Certificate eThekwini (Durban)

Rates Clearance Certificate Cape Town

How long does it take to get a Rates Clearance Certificate

Normally it takes 7-21 days to process rates figures but with the backlogs and issues at the municipality, it can take up to 6 weeks or even as long as 8 months. 

Who pays for the Rates Clearance Certificate?

After your appointed conveyancer obtains the rates figures that show any and all outstanding debt for taxes, water, sewerage, electricity and refuse. The seller will have to pay for the outstanding rates. This amount must be paid to the conveyancer and not the municipality directly within 1-2 months.

The conveyancer will then transfer the funds to the municipality, who requires that rates figure to be paid with a trust cheque. Once you’ve obtained the certificate( which is valid for 60 days), the seller will no longer be required to pay the municipality. This means that the property is now ready to be registered in the buyer’s name and the new owner can move in.


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