Keep your home sales ready and compliant with the current safety standards

Selling one’s home is not the simplest of transactions, as it takes months to conclude from decision to transfer.  It is, therefore, essential to ensure that all the potential stumbling blocks are dealt with as early on as possible to minimise stress and avoid delays and additional expense.

Your home should look its best when you put it on the market and a lick of paint and tidy garden are important. However, what is more important and often left until the last minute when the property is ready for transfer, are the required Certificates of Compliance (COCs) and this could not only jeopardise the sale, but also prove costly.

Jill Lloyd, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Claremont and Lynfrae in Cape Town, says: “Property owners are required by law to ensure that the property is legally fit for sale and before the transfer can take place, the transfer attorney must be in possession of the relevant COCs.”

In previous years only Occupancy, Electrical and Beetle Certificates were required, but new laws now stipulate that sellers also need to obtain a Gas Certificate, Electric Fencing Certificate as well as Plumbing and Water Certificates.

These each cost between R300 and R500 and take only a few days to acquire if all is in order, but if problems are discovered then you also have bear the costs of the necessary work to be done before the certificate can be issued, which can delay transfer if left to the last minute.

Michael Mtshula, a veteran building inspector for the City of Cape Town, advises that the home owners begin the compliance process before they even put their home on the market, or even earlier if they want to protect their families and allow them to benefit from the stringent safety standards that are now in place.

Mtshula adds that most banks now also insist on these certificates before they will approve a mortgage bond which could further scupper a smooth sale and cause unnecessary stress for both buyer and seller.

He also reminds home owners that the onus is on them to ensure that their Occupancy Certificate is current and that the building they are selling is still as per the original council approved plans.

Jack Bartlett, an electrical contractor who inspects sales properties and is authorised to issue electrical compliance certificates, says that beginning the compliance process early is especially recommended for older homes, where faults, such as worn wiring, eroded conductors and faulty wall plugs may need to be repaired.

“Having the required work done over a period of time will also alleviate the strain on your pocket, because depending on how much remedial work needs to be carried out, this can quickly add up to thousands of Rands, which are seldom budgeted for.”

Lloyd advises that the best way to avoid the potential frustration and additional costs of this process is through regular home maintenance which will also, most importantly, safeguard your family.

“Most of us ensure that our vehicles are regularly serviced, but forget that our homes also suffer wear and tear and have hard-working components that eventually erode, leaving us at risk in our own homes.

“I am often amazed at the type of repair work that needs to be done when a property is sold, especially potentially hazardous elements like faulty wall plugs, frayed wiring and badly wired distribution boards.”

Lloyd strongly advises home owners to test components such as the earth leakage regularly and to attend to any electrical faults and wear and tear immediately.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “Whilst the Compliance Certificates add another layer of complexity to the sales process, these legal requirements are designed to indemnify the seller, safeguard the purchaser’s investment and, most importantly, to ensure the safety of the occupants.” 

However Lloyd cautions that people should do a little homework first to familiarise themselves with the regulations and what is required, as there are unfortunately some companies that will take advantage of a seller’s ignorance and rush to get the job done by including adjustments or repairs that are unnecessary.

“If you feel that a quote is excessive, or that unnecessary work has been included, make a point of getting a second opinion. It’s your right and could save you thousands of Rands.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      While sales have noticeably slowed in most sectors in most Cape town suburbs, the security estate sector in Constantiaberg has bucked the trend by remaining buoyant, with sales by August this year already surpassing total sales in 2016.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us