Gas installations in sectional title schemes must comply to regulations

The rising costs of electricity, load-shedding, and increased awareness of greener cooking and heating methods have resulted in more home owners installing gas over the last five years.

“Many people aren’t aware that gas installations must be carried by certified installers, and in sectional title schemes this is particularly important. If the necessary precautions are not taken or if the installation is not done properly it could affect other residents negatively, so anyone considering a gas stove or fireplace must bear this in mind,” says Mandi Hanekom, operations manager for sectional title finance company, Propell.

“Regulation 17 (3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations states that a certificate of compliance must be issued to the owner of the residence after completion of a gas installation, modification, alteration or change of user or ownership. This means that even if a certificate was issued on the initial installation, if any improvement or alteration was made, a new certificate must be obtained. This is because there is always a risk of fire, which could cause damage to property and injury to residents.”

The certificate confirms that the installation is compliant with safety regulations, that the appliance and gas canisters are installed properly, and these are inspected to be safe and leak-free. The only people authorised to issue gas certificates of compliance are those as defined in the regulations.

“Many sectional title bodies corporate management rules will prohibit any owner or occupier from storing any material that is harmful or will prohibit any dangerous acts on the property, and gas installations may in many cases be included in this risk. In turn, if there are ‘high-risk’ activities or installations on the property, the insurance premiums of the scheme might be increased, which the body corporate would want to avoid,” she says.

When it comes to insurance, she says, an additional concern would be that if a gas installation is not compliant and then causes damage to units, the insurance company would in all likelihood not pay out on any claim for this. The financial implications for owners and the scheme itself could be disastrous.

“Before any gas installation is carried out in a sectional title scheme, the insurance requirements for homeowner and body corporate policies should be checked to ensure there is cover if any gas related damage takes place,” says Hanekom.

“For the most part, any installation in a home, such as gas, electricity, electric fencing, and plumbing, should be carried out by qualified people. Trying to save money by employing someone who is not qualified, or by doing the installation yourself, could end badly and cause enormous damage to the property. It is just not worth it in the long run.”

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