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All the Particulars about Compliance Certificates

New laws have recently been passed affecting the selling of a home. Municipal laws now require homeowners to obtain additional certificates before a transfer of ownership takes place. In previous years only Electrical and Beetle Certificates were required, now the new laws also stipulate that you need to obtain a Gas Certificate, Electric Fencing Certificate as well as Plumbing/Water Certificates.

Here is a brief overview of the certificates required.

Beetle Certificate:

Beetles infest themselves in the timber of your home, especially in roof trusses. The Beetle infestation certificate guarantees the absence of beetles from any timber in the property. One of the major drawbacks of these certificates is that certain certificates only cover certain species of beetles, therefore, ensure that the exterminator will cover all species of beetles.

Electrical Certificate:

An Electrical Certificate has to be submitted before the local authority will connect the electricity supply. This Certificate has to be completed by a qualified electrician and has to be obtained by the seller and made available to the purchaser. Take note that the certificate is only valid should there be no additions or changes to the electrical system of the property.

Electric Fence Compliance Certificate:

In terms of the Electrical Machinery Regulations of 2011, issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, an additional compliance certificate is now required where there is a change of ownership of immovable property.

The compliance certificate relates to electrical fence systems. An electrical fence system, as defined in the regulations, is an electrified barrier consisting of one or more bare conductors erected against the trespass of persons or animals coupled with electrical machinery arranged so as to deliver a periodic non-lethal amount of electrical energy to an electric fence connected to it. This can only be issued by a party that is registered as an electric fence system installer.

Gas Certificate:

Gas has become a more popular commodity due to the rising cost of electricity. Gas is a very dangerous component so the Gas Certificate was introduced for safety reasons. This Certificate ensures that all gas fittings are safe and in proper working order.

Gas installations for which Certificates of Conformity are required, would include built-in gas fires or braais, gas stoves and hot water systems and the like. Furthermore, in terms of Regulation 17(3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations, any person disposing of a property on which such a gas appliance is installed, must obtain a Certificate of Conformity in respect thereof, and must deliver a copy to the purchaser (on the same basis as an Electrical Compliance Certificate).

Plumbing/Water Certificate (Cape Town only):

With rising water costs and the water shortage that our country is experiencing, as well as the fact that your home is vulnerable to major damage due to leaks and potential pipe bursts, makes this certificate one of the most valuable. The Plumbing/Water Certificate must be done by a certified plumber and guarantees that all plumbing in the property complies with the correct standards.

You should check that:

  • the water installation conform to the National Building Regulations
  • there are no defects
  • the water meter is registered
  • there is no discharge of storm water into the sewerage system

These new regulations have made the sale of a property a bit more complicated but it enables you as buyer to rest assured that the property is in good condition and has no hidden defects or costs when it comes to plumbing, electrical, gas or even beetle infestation. Once the certificates are complete then your sale should be close to done and dusted.

Plumbing / water certificates are not required in all areas, confirm this with your agent.