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Compliance Certificates

NOTES ON THE COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATES THAT ARE REQUIRED WHEN A

PROPERTY IS TRANSFERRED 25 MAY 2021

1. INTRODUCTION:

Five certificates of compliance are relevant to the transfer process, namely electrical, electric fence, gas, water and beetle certificates.


2. ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE:

-These certificates are governed by regulations issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;

-The certificate must be issued by an accredited electrician and it certifies that the electrical installation on the property complies with the required safety standards;

-The certificate must be issued whenever a property is transferred. The regulations do not specify whether the seller or the purchaser is responsible for the issuing of the certificate, so it is wise to state in the agreement of sale entered into between the parties who will be the responsible party. Note that is has become established practice to insert a clause in sale agreements to the effect that it is the seller’s responsibility to arrange for the issuing of the certificate. The same applies to the certificates referred to hereinafter;

-The certificate is valid for 2 years. If the relative property is transferred within 2 years after the issuing of a certificate, it is not necessary to issue a new one, provided that there has been no alterations made to the installation since the issuing of the certificate;

-The certificate is required irrespective of which province the property being transferred is situated in.

3. ELECTRIC FENCE CERTIFICATE:

-These certificates are also governed by regulations issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;

-The certificate must be issued by an accredited electrician and it certifies that the electric fence on a property complies with the required safety standards;

-The certificate must be issued whenever a property that has an electric fence is being transferred. The regulations do not specify which party is liable for the issuing of the certificate, so it will once again be wise to specify in the agreement of sale between the seller and purchaser who is responsible for the issuing thereof;

-There is no time limit for the validity of the certificate. It is valid for as long as the electric fence is in working order and no alterations have been made to it, and the certificate may be transferred to a purchaser without the need for a new certificate to be issued;

-The certificate is required irrespective of the province wherein the property is situated.


4. GAS CERTIFICATE:

-These certificates are once again governed by regulations issued under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;

-Typical gas appliances are gas stoves and gas fire places;

-The certificate must be issued by an accredited technician and it certifies that the gas appliance/s comply with the required safety standards;

-The certificate must be issued whenever a property that contains a gas appliance/s is being transferred. As the regulations do not specify which party must attend to the issuing thereof, it will again be wise to specify in the agreement of sale whether it is the seller or the purchaser who must attend to the issuing of the certificate;

-The certificate is valid for 5 years and if the relative property is transferred within the 5 year period, the certificate can be transferred to the purchaser in which case it is not necessary for a new certificate to be issued, except if alterations were made to any gas appliance/s or the gas reticulation system attached to the appliance/s in which event a new certificate will have to be issued;

-Once again it is irrelevant in which province the property is situated.

5. WATER CERTIFICATE:

-Water certificates are governed by the City of Cape Town Water By-Law of 2010;

-The certificate must be issued by an accredited plumber and it certifies that the water installation on the property complies with the provisions of the said by-law;

-The certificate must be issued whenever a property situated in the Cape Townmunicipal area is being transferred, and it is the responsibility of the seller to provide the certificate to the conveyancer prior to the transfer of the property;

-The certificate has no specific validity period and it must be issued every time when a property is being transferred;

-The certificate is only required for properties situated within the Cape Town municipal area.


6. BEETLE CERTIFICATE:

-Beetle certificates are not governed by any law or regulation and the issuing thereof is not a legal requirement;

-The issuing of beetle certificates upon sales of coastal properties has become a standard practice due to the fact that coastal properties’ structural timber is often infested by beetles or other woodboring-insects. The purpose of the certificate is to certify that all timber structures on the property are free from wood-boring insect infestation;

-It is suggested that the agreement of sale between the seller and purchaser must contain provisions to the effect that a beetle certificate must be issued prior to registration of transfer and it must specify which party will be liable for the issuing thereof;

-The certificate does not normally state its validity period;

-Although not a legal requirement, it is suggested that a beetle certificate be issued prior to the transfer of any coastal property.


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Notes prepared by: Johann Nortje

J Nortje Attorneys Inc

012 365 3414

083 600 4425

johann@nortjeattorneys.co.za

25 May 2021

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