In the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa

If you are looking to buy a property and there’s a building on the boundary, or your neighbour has a building on your boundary, how can you check whether it’s approved?

Look out for the following, to determine whether a building complies with the regulations.

  • There cannot be any windows or doors within 1.5 m of the boundary.
  • The roof can’t overhang the boundary, over the neighbouring property.
  • Rainwater can’t be discharged from the roof, directly into the neighbouring property.
  • Balconies, or patios on top of ground level buildings over building lines, are not allowed.

On application, the council may give approval for the following structures to be built over the building lines and up to the boundaries:

  • A private garage, subject to certain conditions.
  • A wall, swimming pool, reservoir, summerhouse, hothouse, pergola, tennis court, any garden structure, gatehouses, electricity substations and refuse storage rooms.
  • On residential properties where there is a house, carports may also be allowed, subject to certain conditions.

Be aware that the owner may have obtained a departure from council. So before approaching them about a possible illegal building, consult your architectural professional, or, the local authorities Town Planning Directory, or Building Inspectorate.