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Key Compliance Certificates: Ensuring a Smooth Home Purchase

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Key Compliance Certificates: Ensuring a Smooth Home Purchase

You have completed your prequalification checks, carefully selected your area, done all your research and finally chosen your new home - before closing the deal and signing on the dotted line for your dream home, here is a list of important Certificates of Compliance (CoC) the seller must provide before the property can be transferred to you, the new owner:

ELECTRICAL

This certificate can only be issued by a registered electrical contractor and serves to confirm that all electrical installations such as electric outlets, lights, geysers, DB Boards and wiring in the home comply with the legislated requirements outlined in the Occupation Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Fixed appliances such as underfloor heating, stoves and motors are not inspected or included in the CoC.

On condition that no alterations have been made to the property after the original CoC was issued, and is still within the validity period, a new certificate is not required for transferring ownership of a property.

Validity - 2 years from the date of issue.

ELECTRIC FENCE

Although the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) does not incorporate regulations regarding electric fencing in respect of sectional title schemes or Home Owner's Associations (HOAs), it is recommended that a buyer asks for a copy of this certificate to ensure the electric fence installation is well maintained and checked and that the scheme is secure.

This certificate is only required if there is a change in ownership of a property with an electric fence and can be transferred to the new owner, provided the electric fence has not been modified or altered after the certificate was originally issued.

Validity - None specified, must be issued if modifications have been made.

GAS

In the event the property has built-in gas fires or braais, stoves and hot water systems, a CoC will be required and may only be issued by an authorised representative, registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS). This certificate ensures that all gas components do not leak and the correct installation regulations have been adhered to.

Unlike electrical certificates, there is no mention in the legislation of how long the certificate is valid for, once issued. However, new certificates are required to be issued after any new installation, alteration, modification or in the event of a change of ownership of property.

Validity - 2 years, must be issued when there is a change of ownership.

SOLAR AND INVERTER INSTALLATION

Due to the county's implementation and frequency of load shedding, a solar inverter or Photovoltaic (PV) inverter may have been installed on the property. It is essential that a CoC has been issued to ensure all safety and performance standards have been met and comply with current legislation and insurance requirements; failure to do so could lead to policy exclusions or repudiation of any claims submitted to the insurance company.

It is important to note once again that a supplementary certificate is issued should any additions or alterations be made to the original electrical installation and only an Installation Electrician (IE) and a Master Installation Electrician (MIE) can issue a Certificate of Compliance on a solar installation.

Validity - Lifetime, unless alterations have been made, in which case, a supplementary CoC must be issued.

WATER INSTALLATION - Cape Town

Effective 1st March 2011, a CoC of water installation must be submitted prior to any transfer of property in Cape Town. Conducted by a City of Cape Town registered plumber, the inspection covers seven checks according to national building regulations and City water by-laws, and if no defects are found, a certificate will be issued.

However, it is important to note that the seller is not legally obliged to rectify any plumbing defects not included in the checklist which include blocked drains, low water pressure and leaks that may be underground or inside the walls of the property.

Validity - Six months from the date of issue, or until any changes are made to the installation

BEETLE - Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal

Although not a legal requirement when selling a property, this certificate is standard in sale agreements if required by the bank for approval of a loan. In this instance, the buyer, at their own expense, will be responsible for obtaining the CoC which can only be issued by a qualified wood borer inspector who is a certified member of the South African Pest Control Association (S.A.P.C.A).

If a buyer purchases a property without a Beetle CoC and discovers that the seller has not disclosed a beetle infestation prior to the sale agreement being finalised, the seller will be liable for the necessary extermination and associated costs.

Validity - Three to six months from the date of issue

In Closing

Aside from ensuring the relevant and valid certificates are available before a buyer concludes any sales agreement, it may be worthwhile organising a property inspection to ensure there are no structural issues which may require expensive repairs in the future.

Author Jack Russell Estates
Published 17 Jul 2023 / Views -
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