Certificates of Compliance
Compliance Certificates Explained
Selling a home is not a simple process. Usually, months will pass before the transaction is complete. To expedite the process it is best to deal with the details such as compliance certificates as early as possible, lest these turn into stumbling blocks.
Begin the compliance process early, especially for older homes. Repair faults, e.g. worn wiring, tripping circuit breakers, faulty wall plugs etc.
Your home should look its best when you put it on the market. Therefore, a lick of paint and tidy garden are important. But, the required Certificates of Compliance (COCs) are even more important. These include the latest approved drawings for the house and an occupation certificate. If you don’t have either you might be able to get both from your local municipal inspectorate.
For extensions or alterations made to the home ensure you have an occupation certificate issued to you by the municipality. The occupation certificate certifies that the alterations conform to the national building regulations and municipal bylaws.
Don’t cause delays
Only the transfer of legally compliant property can be done. This means that the transferring attorney must have all the relevant Certificates of Compliance before the transfer can take place.
The new legislation prescribes that a gas certificate and electric fencing certificate are required (where applicable) in addition to the electrical certificate of compliance. The Cape Town Municipality requires plumbing and water certificates. A beetle certificate is required in older houses mostly in coastal areas.
Each of these usually cost between R500 and R800. Normally it takes only a few days to get these if all is in order.
You may have to have repairs done to ensure that these certificates can be issued. The transfer will be delayed if you do not do this in a timely manner.
Before you list
It is imperative that you start the compliance process before you put your home on the market. Be aware that all banks require certificates of compliance; They will not approve your bond without them.
It is incumbent on the seller to ensure that the Occupancy Certificates and the council approved plans are current.
In older homes, the electrical system may fall into disrepair (worn wiring, eroded conductors, faulty wall plugs etc.). By doing repairs yourself, or utilizing unskilled contractors is not the answer. This may result in an unsafe installation.
Regular maintenance is a lot cheaper than remedial work. The cost difference can easily be in the thousands of Rands.
Test components such as the earth leakage regularly. Attend to electrical faults, and electrical wear and tear immediately.
The Certificates of Compliance add another layer of complexity to the sales process. But, they indemnify you, safeguard the purchaser’s investment and ensure safety.
Check regulatory requirements.
Not all service providers are honest. If a quote appears excessive to you, get another one. It is always good to get a second opinion, as some contractors might load their quote with unnecessary work.