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Thread: Water electricity and refuse removal charges on a vacant stand

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Water electricity and refuse removal charges on a vacant stand

    I have eventually managed to sell a stand that I have 'owned' for the past 8 years, situated in Utrecht.

    For those of you who don't know, Utrecht is in the north of KZN down the road from Newcastle.
    The municipality of Utrecht, now renamed eMadlangeni falls within the district of Majuba.

    Further useless information -
    The word “Emadlangeni” comes from a historical background of the area which was swamped by vultures that were eating carcases of livestock that died in numbers in the area because of draught.(sic)
    Very Apt, it would appear now that there are just different vultures. http://devplan.kzntl.gov.za/idp_revi...%202009-10.pdf

    Over the past 8 years I have fought this municipality of vultures regarding electricity charges and then it was refuse removal on vacant residential land. The only positive response I received during this period was that they would disconnect the electricity, to which there was great confusion when I requested them to show me the connection and I would switch it off myself.

    This account has grown over the years to an amount greater than my original investment.
    So when I received an offer that would create a breakeven situation and a future saving on this ridiculous account, I took it with thanks.

    But lo, the Majuba District have produced a water account never seen before. I am not even sure they have seen it before, but it declares that failure to pay would create a failure to transfer situation.

    Even if there is a basic charge for these services that distributed over all erfs in the area, one would assume a reasonable fee which was always included in the rates value in any case. These amounts are beyond reasonable. Certainly, we have had no benefit of electricity or water and I was charged more for refuse removal than I pay in Durban where they actually do the job.
    The transferring attorneys just want to pay it, get their commission and move on. Obviously they dont give a toss about the situation.

    I was wondering whether anybody else out there has come across this blackmail type situation created by accounts that obviously could not be applicable as no service/goods have been delivered. I am pretty sure this is not in line with the CPA, and seems wrong on many levels.
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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Nobody hey.....I am the only one with a vacant stand in his portfolio?
    Thank goodness thats nearly gone then.

    What do you guys think about property in general as an investment these days?
    I can only think of negative scenarios:-


    • Highrates and inconsistent municipal charges
    • Big levies on your lock and go type establishments
    • Legal scenarios that work in favour of the unwanted tenants.
    • Maintenance costs soaring
    • Squatter rights and threats seem to be of higher value than owner rights
    • Very little capital appreciation generally and likely to go down.
    • Tax threats on two or more properties
    • Government appropriation potentials
    • Ignoring of bylaws and building regulations creating problems around your investment


    Anybody have some positives cause this is looking gloomy?
    Now even more depressed - should not have started this list!
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Well I have a small property in Limpopo province and a few months back, they have slapped a new charge on my municipal bill

    Septic Tank - R26.00

    Yes, it is my tank, that I paid for and installed during the building of the property, and I pay the company to clean it out when I need to, so why am I being charged for my own equipment?

    Take a few good thousand stands, and whala over R500K a month extra income for the bra's.

    Another interesting point is that the water supply was paid for by the community who collected money and created the environment for the water reticulation, and we get billed monthly for consuming water which is coming from the bore hole built by the community, and pumped by equipment supplied by the community. Across the main road is a local rural community, who use and waste the water from the community reservoir and do not pay a cent for it. Talk about being fair.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    my friend, i am speechless to start with but had a situation much like your own.

    One month i got a bill that was just "impossible" even if i kept every light on and had my stove running for 744 hours along with every known device in my home i could never reach that amount. In the end i got an appointment with some head and explained to him the situation and we got it resolved that is after i was without power for some time and faced other charges and penalties.

    In your case i would let people do a COC on your mains "both electrical water and sewage" Take photos of the land in question and find a good lawyer to make a case against the municipality for making fraudulent demands to pay utilities. The judge will make a ruling and if you are lucky it will be a standing ruling. My personal experience that municipalities do not want to listen to your side of the story but once it goes to court they tend to react because the charges can result in other criminal charges and they find themselves faced with the letter of the law. I am sure once you force them to take a physical look and show the Judge the truth they will and will be legally forced to consider alternatives.

    Just make sure your property tax is up to date. That is important because it is the one thing you cannot get away from.

    I hope this helps, best of luck to you.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    Nobody hey.....I am the only one with a vacant stand in his portfolio?
    Thank goodness thats nearly gone then.

    What do you guys think about property in general as an investment these days?
    I can only think of negative scenarios:-


    • Highrates and inconsistent municipal charges
    • Big levies on your lock and go type establishments
    • Legal scenarios that work in favour of the unwanted tenants.
    • Maintenance costs soaring
    • Squatter rights and threats seem to be of higher value than owner rights
    • Very little capital appreciation generally and likely to go down.
    • Tax threats on two or more properties
    • Government appropriation potentials
    • Ignoring of bylaws and building regulations creating problems around your investment


    Anybody have some positives cause this is looking gloomy?
    Now even more depressed - should not have started this list!
    i have begun to improve on my property and strangely where i live we see a value increase of about 6% per year and if you invest in solar system, water system and security like walls and so on i have found that the price nearly doubled. My property is fully paid for and i don't have banks lurking. my Tax is up to date as is all my payments. so i am looking at a 200% return on my investment "at least" had my property evaluated and it is literally worth double what i paid for it. That said due to the constant water and power problems it did make cause a drop. But every improvement i make is worth it in gold basically. So i will upgrade the property to keep me comfy but if i need to sell it i know i will get much more for it in the end.

    I only use quality products and proper qualified people with standing name and good reputation for each of the jobs. I have 25 jobs left on the property then it will be immaculate and almost completely independent. Also my secondary building on the property will be converted into a flat. I am told that in my area it is a big plus and may even double my investment again.

    I tell you it was worth saving up for it... yea i never had vacations, never had a new car or nice stuff. But now every single upgrade is to my benefit and not that of the bank.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  6. #6
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Hi Teco,

    Then you need a solar driven water filtration system I manufacture.
    You can collect rain water, or get water delivered from the local river, and use this on line filtration system top get potable water.

    see the brochure.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  7. #7
    Gold Member vieome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    Hi Teco,

    Then you need a solar driven water filtration system I manufacture.
    You can collect rain water, or get water delivered from the local river, and use this on line filtration system top get potable water.

    see the brochure.
    How much for such a system? And cost of replacement cartridges?

  8. #8
    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    My dealer price

    Part Number...............Description.................. .................................................. ............Ex VAT..............Incl VAT
    PVWFS-LV1................Light version Filtration - Ultracarb, Carbon and 5uM Fibre Filter......R 15 570.00.......R 17 749.80
    PVWFS-HD1...............Heavy duty filtration - RIO2000, Ultracarb, carbon and 5uM filter.....R 19 405.00.......R 22 121.70
    RF-RIO2000...............6 candle ceramic replacement filter 60KL......................................R 1 960.00.......R 2 234.40
    RF-Ultracarb..............Ultracarb replacement element 10KL.............................................R 920.00.......R 1 048.80
    RF-Carbon Element.....Active carbon replacement element 10KL......................................R 186.50.......R 212.61
    RF- 5uM Fibre Filter....5uM Fibre filter element 10KL.............................................. .........R 44.96.......R 51.25
    RF-Filter bowl.............Filter cartridge Replacement filter housing.....................................R 337.00......R 384.18

    It seems expensive, but amortize the unit cost over 12 months in which you consume say 1,600L per month, or 20,000L per annum, and allowing for one set of new filters at 10KL, the initial cost per litre is R1.13, there after it will cost you 16C a litre for the filtration of the water, as the cost of the asset has been amortized in the first year.


    seems when I save the format goes off.
    Last edited by Justloadit; 27-May-15 at 07:34 AM.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  9. Thank given for this post:

    tec0 (26-May-15), vieome (27-May-15)

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