Those of us who are interested in buying and selling residential property are likely aware of the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations which were implemented in October 2014.

The regulations were put in place to monitor alien fauna and flora in South Africa, to prevent more invasive species coming into the country, and to control species which are invasive and could potentially impact our biodiversity.

The legislation carries with it hefty fines of up to R10m or 10 years’ imprisonment for uncompliant property owners. However, the aim of the Environmental Affairs department is not to penalise homeowners, rather encourage them to work alongside their department officials amicably.

How does the Alien and Invasive Species Regulation affect the value of your property?

Each property is unique, and unless you are cultivating alien plants species, it’s likely that your property value won’t be affected.

However, it would be a good exercise to familiarise ourselves with what the plant species are that are likely to be found in our area, and what category they fall into.

It’s fair to say that most of us wouldn’t recognise an alien plant species from an indigenous one, but ignorance is no excuse. We encourage you to view the list of invasive species and ensure that you are compliant as far as possible.

For example, Category 1a plant species must be immediately eradicated in any province or property zone. Officials from the department are available to monitor and assist in the removal of such.

If you find that you have a large number of Category 1a or 1b plant species on your property which require removal, then this may impact the value of your property when the time comes to sell. The cost of tree removal or clearing can be high, even with departmental assistance, and if your property is known for containing Category 1a species, then the cost of removal will likely be factored into the sale price by the potential buyer.

Buying and selling property can be a tricky process – why not trust our valuation experts to guide you on valuation and legislation around these important procedures.

Contact us today.