AgentsBuying a homeProperty Advisor (PA)Selling your home

Selling your home? You’re responsible for the certificates of compliance.

18 May 2021 | Insights Team

As a homeowner, you should always have up-to-date certificates of compliance (COCs) for your electrical, gas and electric fence installations. Your bonding bank would have obtained these from the seller when you bought your property, and your insurer will most likely ask for them if you ever claim for things like loss or damage due to a fire, or explosion, or third party liability for injury caused by a fire or explosion or by a faulty electric fence.

Life hack #1

Get these COCs updated by an accredited provider if they’re more than 2 years old, or if you’ve made alterations to your home since they were issued.

Life hack #2 

Scan them and email them through to your insurer right now, or store them off-site or in a fireproof safe. 

Now for the legal stuff

If you’re selling your property, you have to provide all these COCs as part of the paper trail, and you’re responsible for all costs linked to making unsafe installations compliant, as well as the costs of actually issuing the certificates. 

The upside is that supplying these COCs absolves you of financial liability and responsibility for anything that goes wrong with these installations after the buyer has taken ownership.

The down-side is that if you don’t have them in order before you put your property on the market – or at the very latest by the time you get an offer – you risk holding up the sale process, or even losing the sale if the buyer is in a hurry. 

Here’s the low-down

The electrical certificate must be issued by a qualified and registered electrician, and must include a report as well as confirmation that all electrical installations on the property comply with the prescribed standards of safety. 

An electric fence certificate will declare that the electric fence installation complies with the Electrical Machinery Regulations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act no. 85 of 1993 (OHSA). If the buyer agrees, you can waive this requirement for full title properties. You only need a new certificate if a change was made to the electric fence installation after the original certificate was issued.

A gas certificate will confirm that any gas installation on the property is OHSA-compliant, and must be issued by a gas installer. This certificate is of course only required if the property has gas installations.

A beetle certificate, although not compulsory by law, this has become a standard requirement in the coastal provinces due to the prevalence of wood-destroying beetles in these areas. If this certificate isn’t required in terms of a deed of sale but is brought forward as a condition on a buyer’s bond, then the buyer will be liable for the cost of obtaining the certificate.

A water installation / plumbing certificate is also not a statutory national requirement, but is compulsory when transferring ownership of a property in the City of Cape Town. Its main purpose is to ensure that water installations are in line with municipal guidelines and to avoid water wastage caused by leaks. It must be issued by a qualified and registered plumber.

Leadhome Properties is your trusted advisor for all property-related information, speak to our experienced agents or property advisors today. Call: +27 (0) 10  590 3088

Insights Team

We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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