When selling a property in South Africa, various compliance certificates are required in terms of certain regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, before the property can be successfully transferred and registered in the purchaser’s name. For purposes of this article only the certificates required in the inland region will be discussed.
1. ELECTRICAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE
Regulated by the Electrical Installation Regulations of 2009, a seller is required to provide the purchaser with a valid Electrical Compliance Certificate (hereinafter referred to as “ECOC”). The ECOC serves as proof that the electrical work and installations on the property are complete and up to standard in accordance with the Rules and Regulations as set out in the South African National Standards. In addition to the above, the Act requires the home owner to be in possession of an ECOC at all times, as does your home insurance company.
In the event that your home suffers damage as a result of an electrical fault, you will be required to supply the insurance company with a valid ECOC, or face the possibility of your claim being invalid and ultimately rejected. When selling a property, an ECOC will have to be renewed and reissued by a certified electrician if the certificate is older than two years or in the event that electrical installation changes were made to the property. However, as long as the seller remains the owner of the property and does not sell the property, the seller will not have to renew the ECOC, regardless of it being older than two years.
2. ELECTRIC FENCE CERTIFICATE
Regulated by the Electrical Machinery Regulations of 2011, the owner of a property is required to be in possession of an Electric Fence System Certificate of Compliance (hereinafter referred to as “EFSCC”), in the event that an electric fence is erected after 1 October 2012, or if the electric fence was erected prior to 1 October 2012 and alterations are made to the electric fence or a new owner takes possession of the property after 1 October 2012. Should the owner of the property be in possession of an EFSCC, such certificate will be transferrable to the purchaser as the certificate, contrary to that of an ECOC, does not expire after two years.
With regards to who bears the responsibility of obtaining an EFSCC, again contrary to that of an ECOC, unless the Agreement states otherwise, it will be the responsibility of the purchaser and not the seller.It is important for property owners to note that an EFSCC is separate from an ECOC as it is governed by different Regulations, and is therefore an additional requirement if the property has an electric fencing system.
3. GAS COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE
Regulated by the Pressure Equipment Regulations of 2009, property owners are required to be in possession of a valid Certificate of Conformity (hereinafter referred to as “CC”), in the event that there are gas installations and appliances on their property. The CC is confirmation that the gas appliances have been properly inspected, are safe and leak free and is usually issued and obtained during the installation phase. As with the ECOC and EFSCC, your insurance company will require a CC should you lodge a claim with your home insurance company in the event of damage as a result of a gas appliance.
Once obtained, a CC is transferable to the new owner of the property without limitations. However, the certificate is only valid for five years and should subsequently be renewed after a period of five years. In conclusion, it is important for a home owner to always be aware of the certificates needed when selling his or her property. It is advisable that these certificates are in order and in your possession before you place your property on the market, as this will contribute to the transferring process running smoothly and hassle-free.