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Legal Matters - Oct/Nov '23

Selling? Comply now, avoid delays later

Selling? Comply now, avoid delays later

In August 2011 the building regulations of the City of Windhoek were amended to introduce the principle of a Building Compliance Certificate. Obtaining one is compulsory before any change in ownership can be done.

Who must apply?
The owner of the property as registered in the Deeds Office, or an executor of a deceased estate, or the trustee of an insolvent estate, or the legal representative in event of an absentee owner. You will need the Municipal account, ID of the owner and ID of the new buyer to apply for the Compliance Certificate.

Apply as soon as possible when the owner wishes to put property up for sale or if the developer wishes to register a sectional title scheme or before a member’s interest in CC is transferred, or before the majority shareholding in company is sold.

Why was the introduction of a Building Compliance Certificate necessary?
The Municipal Council had been inundated with complaints of boundary encroachments, illegal stormwater structures, drainage connections and electricity wiring. Buildings had been sold without adherence to building regulations and owners were selling their property without disclosing the defects.

How is the compliance inspection done?
The authorized inspector of City of Windhoek will make an appointment with the owner to inspect any building or structure erected on the property, the use thereof and the land on which it was erected. The inspection is to establish whether the site complies with provisions of the Act and Regulations as well as the Town Planning Scheme and those regulations.

What is needed to obtain a Compliance Certificate?
The inspections are quite comprehensive to cover a wide scope of the Municipal Regulations which include:

  • Are there approved building plans?
  • Are the plans aligned to the physical structures erected on the property?
  • Are the buildings compliant with building regulations?
  • Are boundaries identifiable and buildings within boundaries?
  • Have temporary structures been erected in accordance with permits?
  • Has the building been erected with the correct bulk, coverage, density meeting the parking requirements on site?
  • Is the land used as per Town Planning scheme requirements?
  • Are building line restrictions and health & safety standards being met?
  • Connections and installations correct?
  • Prevention of undue water consumption – therefore swimming pool covers are compulsory.
  • Have drainage installation and stormwater channelling requirements been met?
  • Cross ventilation is compulsory – windows may not be closed off without building plans approved.
  • Encroachments are problematic especially with sliding gates on sidewalks.
  • Must comply with SANS for example thatched roofs and lapas must be treated.

Owners who want to sell their property must timeously attend to the compliance application to avoid delays in registration of their property.


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