Advantages & Disadvantages of a Freehold or Full Title Property | Legal Articles


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Advantages & Disadvantages of a Freehold or Full Title Property

A freehold or full title property is most commonly a free-standing house or cluster home within an estate or development. A free-standing house will be registered at the Deeds office and is allocated its own erf number.

Owning a freehold home or full title home means that you also take on ownership of the entire property or erf as well as any other amenities or buildings that are built on the land.

Freehold property - Conveyancing attorneys Cape Town

The title deed of a freehold property belongs to the owner of the property and thereby entitles the owner to make any changes to the house as long as the changes made are in compliance with the municipal regulations.

If your extensions or alterations remain within the rules and regulations of your local area, you may extend or alter any portion of your home without the objection of your neighbours.

Costs involved with a freehold or full title property

As the sole owner of a freehold or full title property, all related costs involved in the home is the responsibility of the home owner.

The costs include property repair and maintenance costs which involve the garden and driveway upkeep as well as the walls or fencing around the perimeter of the property and everything within these walls.

Insurance and all municipal accounts such as water, electricity and rates and taxes for a full title property are the responsibility of the home owner.

Freehold Cluster Home

A cluster home is more often a freehold property which forms part of a private community which is walled in. Buying a cluster home automatically makes the buyer a member of the homeowner’s association.

Managing communal matters of the entire estate falls under the responsibilities of the homeowner’s association. The costs of repair and maintenance of the communal property are covered by monthly levies payable by all members of the association.

Additionally, a set of rules and guidelines will be in place and homeowners will have to comply with these regulations and permission must be granted for any changes that the homeowner wishes to make. These regulations ensure conformity among all buildings within the estate.

Advantages of a freehold or full title property

•    Freedom to alter and extend the exterior (within municipal building regulations)
•    Freedom to perform interior renovations, extensions or makeovers
•    Ability to keep pets
•    Right to rent out one or more sections of your home
•    Freedom to install any additions such as internet services, satellite dish, well point or borehole

Disadvantages of a freehold or full title property

•    Neighbours may neglect their property which may deter your future buyers
•    Your neighbours are free to make changes to their home which may be aesthetically unappealing
•    All costs related to the property are payable by the homeowner including security, upgrades and general maintenance
•    All administrative costs of owning a freehold or full title property are payable by the homeowner

Property Lawyers in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Contact Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated to find out more about the legal process of owning a freehold or full title property in South Africa.

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