Certificates of Compliance (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)

Certificates of ComplianceLet’s talk about Compliance Certificates (or CC’s), in residential home sales in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

When you sell a residential home in Port Elizabeth, whether you may be aware of it for not, there is going to be at least one compliance certificate in your future, as the seller.

Let’s look as these very briefly.

THE ELECTRICAL CC

This one is the most common and also the most well-known. This certificate is there to ensure that the electrical installation is up to code, as of the date of the inspection. It’s also a good idea to get one if you intend renting your property. In the case of rentals, its to protect yourself against your insurer or your tenant’s insurer repudiating the claim because of alleged dodgy electricals.

THE ELECTRICAL FENCE CC

This one is similar to the electrical CC, except its more specialized. Electrical fences can give a nasty shock, and as such specific regulations govern their certification. It is required by law, that a security fence COC, be issued for an electric fence by a member of the Electric Fence Installers Association (SAEFIA), who may legally erect, repair and certify electric fences; when a home is sold. In the case of complexes, a home might not even be adjoining the fence, but it is still prudent to ask for a copy of the exiting COC for the fence, although some commentators say that it would need to be issued each time there is a change in the composition of the body corporate or if a property adjoining the electrical fence is sold.  It is also prudent for complexes to periodically have the electrical fence recertified as a risk prevention exercise and to ensure the fence is at all times, compliant with regulations. It is always prudent to consult with your conveyancer or legal advisor.

THE BORER BEETLE CC

This certificate, though often referred to as the Borer Beetle CC, also includes all types of visible wood-destroying organisms. Its cost is relatively low but the peace of mind is priceless.

It may happen that even though the purchaser does not request this CC, but that the bank providing the bond to the buyer, may request it. Usually, the contract will state that the irrespective of who pays for it, the seller will pay for any remediation, should any wood-destroying insects be found on the property.

GAS CC

Any home that has a gas installation needs a gas CC that covers that installation. It should be noted that a gas installation, maybe a gas hob, gas stove, built-in gas heater, gas geyser, or a gas fireplace, to name a few. Apart from the regulations changing from time to time, the components of the installation age over time and it may become necessary to replace certain parts to keep the installation up to code.

COSTS

Costs for these types of inspections can vary greatly based on the provider.

It must also be considered that repairs may be required before the relevant certificate can be issued. In the case of these certificates, the providers are usually prepared to wait until registration of transfer for payment, although this should be confirmed with the supplier.

It is key to liaise with your estate agent to ensure that the right certificates are provided, not only to protect the buyer but mostly to protect the seller. Your agent will also make sure that the certificate is applied for at the right time and ensure that the suppliers are prepared to be paid on registration of transfer.

Although these certificates cover a wide range of aspects, there are areas that they don’t cover and I will be briefly covering these in the next post.

Clinton Begley is a fulltime professional real estate agent, associated with Open Realty in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He has an impressive sales record and providing frank advice, based on in-depth research. He has been an active estate agent since 2002 and in addition to writing the old board exam (CEA), he also holds the Professional Practitioner: Real Estate & Master Practitioner: Real Estate professional designations. Clinton is also an admitted attorney (1999), notary (2001), and conveyancer (2002); although he no longer practices law since 2014 and is now on the non-practicing roll. 

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