Are you a property owner wanting to let your flat out for short term rentals?
Before doing so you will need to familiarise yourself with the Municipal Planning By-laws and, if applicable, with the rules of the body corporate.
It is important to note that letting flats out in the city-centre of Cape Town is illegal without the proper approval processes in place.
There are systems in place for short-term rentals and bed-and-breakfasts in dwelling houses, and larger-scale holiday accommodation which takes place in guest houses and in hotels.
Therefore, any owner wishing to do short-term holiday letting from a flat or a block of flats must ensure that this is compliant with Body Corporate rules.
They should also ensure that the property is appropriately zoned, and must apply to the City for approval.
These Applications must be made to the City’s Development Management Department.
Any property owner wishing to make an application is advised to approach one of the City’s district planning offices or to access the Planning Portal on the City of Cape Town website where they can find the specific requirements for the process.
Short-term accommodation is a complicated matter and so it would be advantageous to potential applicants to request a pre-application consultation session with a land use planner.
It is worth pointing out however that general residential zoned properties and single residential zoned properties do not have the same restrictions imposed on them.
Most general residential zoned properties in the city have only a dwelling house and in some cases a second dwelling.
The City’s Development Management Scheme permits B&Bs to be run from such dwellings without any permission, but this is subject to compliance with conditions as specified in the scheme.
Owners of general residential zoned properties may also run a guest house from a dwelling or second dwelling which seems to be a popular approach.
A guest house would, however, require the approval of the City if the property is zoned for single residential purposes.
It is important to note that bed-and-breakfast and guesthouses can only operate from a dwelling house or second dwelling and not from a block of flats.
Most of the time, body corporates will have in place their own set of rules and regulations regarding the number of inhabitants and the letting of a property.
Written complaints with regards to any breach of land usage will be investigated, and if evidence of this is found then legal action will be enforced by the City.
While owners may also apply to the City to rectify any land usage breach, it is recommended rather to ensure that they are compliant with the laws regarding land usage so as to prevent any complications such as this from occurring.
Van Deventers & Van Deventers Incorporated can assist you to navigate the property by-laws. Simply contact us here.
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