Compliance Services

The aim of a compliance inspection (electrical, beetle, plumbing, gas or electrical fencing) is to provide the buyer of a property with compliance certificates. By law it is the responsibility of the seller of a property to provide these certificates before a deed of sale can be completed between a buyer and seller of a property.
A company that provide these certificates must be registered with the relevant boards in order to issue such certificates. The seller that instructs such a company to carry out these inspections, must take care to ensure that the company has liability insurance should something go wrong, otherwise the seller may still be responsible once the buyers have moved in.

Electrical Compliance

We verify that the electrical installations such as the plugs, lights, DB board, geyser and wiring in a home comply with the legislated requirements as detailed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. (SANS)

 

 

Although the Electrical Certificate has been a legal requirement for a long time already, “misunderstandings” by the seller or buyers occur on a regular basis owing to the complexity of the Electrical Installation Regulations.

 

 

Why do you need an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (COC)?

 

Electricity, just like water and gas, can “leak”. This leakage current is potentially dangerous as it can flow through you when you touch the “leaking” appliance. The earth leakage relay is designed to monitor for leakage current going directly or indirectly to earth and if it exceeds a certain value it will trip and disconnect the current flow. This is why it is so important that all circuits are properly earthed to ensure that the earth leakage relay would operate in an emergency.

 

 

The onus has been placed on the homeowner (seller) to ensure that a faulty or non-compliant electrical installation in his / her house does not pose a threat through fire or electrocution to any person, animal or property. Without a valid COC, should an injury or incident occur, the homeowner could be held liable and the insurance on the house could be declared invalid.

Plumbing Compliance

To ensure that no clean water goes to waste. This certificate is required as a local by-law and only applies to properties sold.

 

Obtaining Certificates of Compliance (COC) is something that most people will probably only have to do once or twice in their lives – normally when they sell their homes. A “lack of knowledge” is therefore completely understandable but can sometimes lead to unnecessary heartache where the seller thinks the service provider are doing too much and ripping them off while the new owner thinks they have not done enough. The estate agent or attorney (conveyancer) very often get caught in the middle of these sometimes unpleasant misunderstandings.

 

 

 

When is a Plumbing Certificate required?

 

 

The Plumbing Certificate is unique to Cape Town – it is governed by a water by-law (since 2011) and is needed when a property is sold within the municipal jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town.

 

 

 

Why is a Plumbing Certificate necessary?

 

 

It certifies that the water installation at the property is in line with municipal and building guidelines and introduced water conservation and demand management measures to ensure the sustainability of water supply to consumers. Cape Town lies in a water-scarce region where, while it is a winter rainfall area, most of the demand is during the summer. The by-law also enforces the installation of a hot water cylinder.

Beetle Compliance

The requirement of a beetle certificate became customary in coastal regions after these insects infested properties in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, resulting in significant damage.

 

The woodborer beetle can severely affect the structural integrity of a building, although this damage is not always immediately visible. As such, this form of compliance certificate was implemented to protect buyers and give them peace of mind when purchasing a new property.

 

However, a beetle certificate is not a pest control certificate. The beetles covered in terms of the certificate will differ from area to area, and the OTP will stipulate which beetles should be covered by the required certificate.

 

For example, the beetles typically covered by a beetle certificate in Cape Town are:

 

Anobium Punctatium (commonly known as the furniture beetle)
Hylotrupes Bajules
Oxyplerus Nodieri


Seller liability

A seller is legally obligated to inform a potential buyer of a beetle infestation if he or she is aware of one. This includes in situations where the OTP doesn’t specifically stipulate that a beetle certificate is required. The voetstoots clause will not alter this, and a seller who willfully neglects to disclose this information will be severely penalised.

Electric Fence Compliance

When is an Electrical Fence Compliance Certificate (EFCC) required?

 

 

An electric fence certificate is required by South African law when selling your house. to ensure that the installation is compliant and safe. An incorrectly installed or faulty installation is hazardous and the homeowner could be held liable in the event of an injury.

 

 

The certificate is required where there is a change in ownership of a property after 1 October 2012 at which property there is an electric fence; or there was no change of ownership but there has been an alteration or modification to an electric fence after 1 October 2012, even if it was installed before 1 October 2012. This is only if the electric fence forms part of the property being sold and not a communal system in which case it will be the responsibility of the Body Corporate and not the individual property owner as the electric fence is shared by multiple property owners.

 

 

What is the legal requirements of the EFCC?

 

 

This is governed by Regulation 12(4) of the Electrical Machinery Regulations which were promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (No. 181 of 1993).

 

 

This is a separate certificate from the Electrical COC since it falls under the provisions of a separate set of regulations and the EFC cannot be issued by an electrician. Only a person accredited by the Department of Labour and issued by the chief inspector as an electrical fence installer, may issue a C.O.C for an electric fence installation.

Gas Compliance

We will come out and inspect your installation and issue a certificate of compliance once the installation is up to standard.

 

The higher cost of electricity has prompted many South African home-owners to utilize gas installations in their homes. There are however specific regulations homeowners must comply with when installing gas equipment in their homes to ensure their insurance policy remains valid.

 

According to the regulations that were introduced in 2009, all gas installations must have a Certificate of Compliance (COC) according to the Pressure Equipment Regulations that have been promulgated under the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) – effectively stating that the installation has been properly inspected and is determined to be safe and leak free.

 

According to the regulation, any home-owner who has a liquid gas installation installed in their home must have a Gas Certificate of Conformity issued by an authorized person who is registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS). The onus is on the homeowners to ensure that they have this certificate in their possession – not the installer. In the absence of a valid gas certificate, the insurance company would be well within their rights to repudiate a claim if a defective gas appliance caused a homeowner property damage.

 

It is also important for homeowners to know that if they wish to sell their home and they have a gas appliance installed, they are required to obtain a gas certificate and deliver a copy thereof to the new purchaser. The types of gas installations that require this certificate include gas fires or braais, gas stoves and ovens, as well as hot water systems. It is vital for all home-owners to realize that such an inspection is not just essential for their insurance policy to remain valid, but even more importantly, that it is conducted to ensure that the installation is safe and their family is not put at risk. If a gas appliance has been incorrectly installed and results in a gas leak this could have major health implications for a family, not to mention the huge danger involved of an explosion.

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