Who holds clearance certificates of a property that is being sold?

The acts that govern the legal requirements of various aspects of homes such as electrical supply, electric fencing, gas and clearance apply nationwide and only the water clearance is governed by the regional or city laws, says Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA.

“There is no law requiring sellers to have beetle clearance certificates, but it has become standard practice for buyers and financial institutions to ask for them,” she says.

“Although the law requires that property sellers have valid clearance certificates for their homes, only the conveyancing attorneys actually need to see these, and they will hold the certificates while the transfer process is going through.”

However, she says, sellers must ensure that all the inspections are done before the home is put on the market and the original certificates given to the conveyancing attorneys so that the transfer process is smooth and without unnecessary delays. On inspection it might be found that repairs are necessary which then entails another inspection once repairs have been carried out.

Electrical certificates of compliance are valid for two years and verify that all electrical work has been completed according to the South African National Standards’ regulations. This certificate covers the distribution boards, wiring, earthing and bonding of any metal components, sockets, light switches, and isolators of fixed appliances. The certificate does not, as many believe, cover geysers, stoves, air-conditioning or underfloor heating installations.

Electrical fence clearance certificates are a fairly new addition to the list of required CoCs and it is only systems that were installed after 2012 that need to have them, unless additions or alterations have been made since 2012.

Gas compliance is regulated by the Pressure Equipment Regulations and must be issued when equipment changes ownership. This certificate is to ensure that all gas components in a home have been safely installed and are in good working condition and it’s valid for five years, says Steward.

The City of Cape Town introduced its water by-law in 2010, whereby all water installations have to be cleared before transfer of the property can go ahead and a new certificate must be issued each time ownership of the property changes.

The water by-law was put in place to eliminate water wastage through leaks and latent defects in the water installations in the home. This also certifies that the hot water cylinder is fitted correctly, that there is no storm water discharge into the sewerage system and that there is no cross contamination of grey water and any potable water supply on the property.

The buyer should ask the transferring attorney for the original certificates so that a record is kept of what was cleared, in case of any disputes that might question the validity of the clearance or any problems that might occur, says Steward.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      These days most buyers are using online property portals like Private Property when house hunting due to the convenience, up to date information and variety on offer. “The property portals have revolutionised the way buyers shop, but they do need to be cautious – viewing photos online is no replacement for viewing the property in person,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      Owning a home is a milestone that most South Africans aspire to. Becoming a homeowner is a step towards growing personal wealth and owning an asset that appreciates in value over time, provided of course that the correct principles are applied during the buying stage of the process, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us