Property Compliance Certificates

A compliance certificate is a document which provides the parties with an assurance that all required safety standards have been complied with.  Some certificates are required under National Legislation such as electrical and electric fence, whereas others are required by Municipal By-Law such as the Plumbing Certificate required by the City of Cape Town.

electrical compliance

ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE (ECOC)

An electrical certificate of compliance is a certificate issued by an approved inspection authority to a Seller which verifies that the electrical installations of a property comply with the legislative requirements of the Electrical Installation Regulations (Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993).

In terms of Section 7 of the abovementioned Regulations, an electrical compliance certificate must be obtained where:

  1. There is a change of ownership and the current ECOC is older than two years;
  2. Where any addition or alteration has been effected to an electrical installation for which a ECOC was previously issued. In this instance an ECOC shall be obtained for at least the addition/alteration.

An ECOC covers the following electrical installations:

  • The main distribution board and any sub-distribution boards;
  • Socket outlets and light switches;
  • Wiring
  • Isolators;
  • Hot water cylinders;
  • Earthing;
  • Bonding

The certificate does not cover the following:

  • Geysers and stoves
  • Motors and fans;
  • Under floor heating;
  • Pool motors

ELECTRIC FENCE

Since 1 October 2012, an Electric fence compliance certificate is required in terms of the Electrical Machinery Regulations (Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993).  This certificate is required whenever there is a change of ownership or an addition or alteration has been made to an electric fence system.  This certificate must be issued by a person accredited by the Department of Labour as an electrical fence installer and is a separate certificate from the electrical compliance certificate.

GAS

Any homeowner who has a liquid gas installation installed in their home must obtain a gas Certificate of Conformity in terms of the Pressure Equipment Regulations, issued by an authorised person registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa (LPGAS).  This certificate states that the installation has been properly inspected and the emergency valves have been installed in the correct position and the gas piping, regulator and valves and gas appliances are in a safe working condition and have not corroded.

In the event that your home is damaged or destroyed as a result of a defective gas appliance and should you not have the required COC, an insurance company would be entitled to reject your claim which could result in serious financial consequences.

The certificate is required for the following types of gas installation:

  • Gas fires or braai’s
  • Gas stoves or ovens;
  • Hot water systems

BEETLE

An Entomologist or “Beetle” Certificate is a certificate certifying that the property is free of wood-destroying beetle which is issued by an entomologist registered with the South African Pest Control Association.  The certificate is valid for a period of 3 months.

This certificate is not required under any law and is not a legal requirement for the transfer of a property.  It is however often required by the financial institution providing the finance for the property.  Due to the fact that it is not a legal requirement, all aspects pertaining thereto must be specifically dealt with in the deed of sale.

WATER INSTALLATION COC

This certificate was introduced by the City of Cape Town and came into effect on 1 March 2011.  It is a local by-law and only applies to properties situated within the municipal authority of the City of Cape Town.

The certificate must be obtained by the Seller and is unfortunately non-transferable.  This means that each and every time the property is transferred, a new certificate must be obtained.

It is important to note that while this certificate is commonly referred to as a “Plumbing Certificate”, it is not as comprehensive as a plumbing certificate and its contents are limited to the requirements of the by-law.  The certificate does not therefore cover general plumbing maintenance such as blocked pipes or water pressure issues.

It also does not cover secondary leaks which are leaks that occur after the tap during usage or outlet pipes from bath, shower or kitchen sinks etc.

The certificate warrants the following:

1:  The Hot Water Cylinder installation complies with the By-law.

2:  The water meter records the flow when a tap is open and stops completely when all taps are     closed.

3:  None of the terminal water fittings leak, when they are in the OFF position, and they are correctly fixed in position.

4:  No storm water is discharged into the sewerage system.

5:  There is no cross connection between the potable supply and any alternate supply.

6:  The water pipes in the plumbing installation are properly saddled.

7:  The private isolating valve is in place and operational.

If you are unsure or have questions regarding compliance, speak to your conveyancing attorney.