Mushrooming shebeens drive down house values

Most houses that have shebeens in their vicinity have potential to lose their value by between 15% to 20% analyst have revealed.
The revelations come at a time when the City of Windhoek (CoW) is battling the increase of shebeens in residential areas which have caused house value to plummet in Windhoek’s rural residential areas.
CoW Public Relations Officer, Lydia Amutenya however said it not illegal for people to operate small scale business in their backyards.
 “Most of these people apply through the Consent Use Act including the people that have small-scale shops, in terms of shebeens these are usually in residential places whereby owners change structures and turn it into a shebeens, bar or bottle store. But then if it affects the plan then the owners have to amend and resubmit their application,” says Amutenya.
According to Amutenya, when the city is planned there are areas where shebeens are allowed not just anywhere. She said people who might be interested in buying a plot in an area like Greenwel-Evelin Street should have an idea of what kind of location in advance. She said one of the requirement or process that has to take place before one put up a shebeen, consultation with the neighbours has to be done first to find get their approval.
“You cannot then come after you have agreed for someone to get a permission to go ahead with the operation of the shebeen, and come later to say the value of your house is affected,” she said, adding that neighbours only have the right to place their complaints if consultation was not done before the establishment of a shebeens.
Furthermore, Amutenya said that there are cases where second-hand buyers of housing properties get into those properties without out first if the owner of the property had agreed to permit any operation of shebeens. City of Windhoek’ spokesperson said there are cases where people are taken to court for illegally operating shebeens. She also said they do not issue permission for selling of liquor, but they only give fitness certificate and business registration.
Apart from the Value Added Tax of 15% added to water and electricity to be paid by shebeen owners, currently there is no application fees payable for one to get the permission to own small-scale permission from CoW that later grow up to shebeen. The 15% additional VAT charges area added because the property is no longer purely residential but it contains a commercial component. Additionally, according to the Standard Condition for Resident Occupation document, liquor was not supposed to be sold in residential ervens.