I often get asked whether you need a set of plans to sell your house  here in South Africa.  I also get called a lot to get illegal / 'as built' additions and buildings approved at Council.  Fortunately Johannesburg Council is a lot more relaxed than elsewhere in the world and usually will only order demolition if you have built over a servitude or the building/addition is unsafe or poorly built.

Increasingly banks and mortgage lenders are making it a requirement for a seller to have a complete set of up to date plans and often an Occupation Certificate before granting a loan to the buyer.   

It is a big risk to go ahead and build without planning permission, not only could this bite you when you want to sell your property, but your Buildings Insurance will only cover the part of your home/building that has Municipal Approval.   

Noncompliance also effects the banks that finance these buildings since this will severely impact on the income potential of the property, which is in most instances, the banks security. In the case of a Council taking action income can be lost and this situation can be even worse in case of fire or structural collapse.  It is understood that some banks are withholding final payment on new developments until the lender can present the bank with a valid occupation certificate.  To read more go to : -