Whenever selling a property, the majority of owners are will make sure their house is looking presentable and “staged”. This is usually characterized by applying a fresh coat of paint, tidying up their gardens and among many other things. What skips the mind of most is the preparation of necessary Certificates of Compliance. For instance, Electrical Certificate of Compliance and Plumbing Certificate of Compliance (popularly known as COCs). They just rush to selling and consequently transferring the property to the new owner.

Sellers Need To Have COC’s Ready Before Transfer Of Their Properties!

Prior to the successful registration process of any home transfer, the seller is obliged to issue the attorney in charge of the transfer with several COCs. The most popular Certificates of Compliance are Plumbing and Electrical Certificates of Compliance. Apart from these two, the other certificates are a function of several factors. They heavily rely on whether the home has gas installation, whether the home has an electric fence or even if the property is situated in the coastal region. The coastal area location is important as it determines if the property will need a Certificate of Clearance for Woodborer beetles.

The Managing Director of Leapfrog Property Group called Bruce Swain reiterated the fact that even though securing the COCs comes at an additional cost for the person selling the property, they are a necessity by law. This is because they serve to protect both parties involved in the property transaction. To be precise, they are a form of assurance that ascertains the standards of the plumbing, wiring and many services are fine. This gives comfort to the buyer as they can be rest assured that they are purchasing property that is up to standard and protects the seller from future claims leveled on them by the buyer as well.

In short, Certificates of Compliance documents are a must have with regards to the sale of property. However, very few people actually know the types of COCs that are needed by the law, the method of procurement and their actual implication.

For example let us consider shock-free wiring. The recent regulation with regards to electrical installation that was implemented in May, 2009 clearly states that only an organisation or a person that has the approval of the Chief Inspector (popularly known as the IC) maybe issued with an Electrical Certificate of Compliance. This is strictly according to Regulation 5 that outlines performing tests, investigations and inspections on all electrical installations.

Important Regulations About COC’s

In addition, the recent regulations clearly indicate that the Electrical Certificate of Compliance cannot be transferred to another owner if it exceeds two years of age. This implies a fresh application, in the case that its age is more than 2 years.

Another comprehensive example is ensuring that plumbing is up to standard in a property. Similarly, only a member of The Institute of Plumbing South Africa also known as IOPSA is legible to receive a Plumbing Certificate of Compliance. This rule is zero tolerance and must be adhered to as it can be checked on the website of the institute.

The Plumbing Industry Registration Board states that the certificate should only be issued out on the following grounds:

  • In the case whereby the total cost of work, inclusive of labor, materials and Value Added Tax exceeds 1500 South African Rand. It should be noted that the material cost is mandatory regardless of the supplier.
  • If there is any installation, relocation or even replacement of Electrical Water Heating System no matter the cost.
  • In the event that there are independent installations on a site.
  • If there is construction, alteration or installation of any sanitary drains no matter the cost. This can be either below or above the ground.
  • In the event of relocation, alteration or installation of Hot Water Solar Water Heating Systems.

Currently, procurement of plumbing certificates lacks a set validity period. Transfer lawyers highly recommend obtaining a new certificate whenever selling property.