What you need to know about electrical certificates

Since May 2009 it has become compulsory for homeowners to be in possession of a valid Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC). This document verifies that the electrical work and installations that have been completed on a property are up to the regulations required by the South African National Standards and are safe.

Why is an electrical certificate so important for a homeowner? Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that aside from the fact that the certificate is proof that the electrical installation is safe, the law requires a homeowner to be in possession of an ECOC, as do home insurance companies. “If a property incurs any damage as a result of an electrical fault, the insurance company will require the homeowner to provide them with a valid electrical certificate. Failure to produce the document could result in the insurance company repudiating the claim,” says Goslett.

Prior to the legislative change during 2009, an ECOC remained valid indefinitely and could be transferred without limitation, unless changes were made to the electrical installations. Essentially this meant that the seller could provide the buyer with same ECOC that was provided to them when they purchased the home, regardless of how long ago that was.
Goslett notes that these days, during the sale process of a property, the conveyancer would need to obtain the original ECOC from the seller before registration takes place. This means that the seller must get a certified electrician to inspect the electrical installations, if the ECOC in the seller’s possession is older than two years or if any changes have been made to the electrical installations during this time. The original compliance certificate must eventually be retained by the buyer after it has been presented to the conveyancing attorneys, as legislation requires a property owner to produce a valid certificate of compliance on request to an inspector.
According to Goslett, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to check whether the electrician doing any electrical installation on their property is registered with the relevant authorities and has a wireman’s license or is working under the direct supervision of an electrician with a wireman’s license. If they do not have the necessary qualifications, they will be unable to provide an electrical compliance certificate on the work that they do. “The homeowner must also request to see the contractor’s registration card and accreditation certificate. This is particularly important in light of the fact that electricians do not have to guarantee the electrical system is in working order, but only that it is safe, and the new requirement that a test certificate must accompany the ECOC,” says Goslett.       

He notes that once the ECOC has been transferred into the name of the new homeowner, any alterations made by the new owner to the electrical installation through renovation of the property, for example, will not be covered under that certificate and a separate certificate will be required to cover the additional installations. Goslett says that alternatively, the entire installation can be checked once the additional work has been complete and an entirely new certificate can be issued covering all the electrical work.  “As a rule of thumb it is good maintenance practise to have the property re-inspected for wear and tear every two years, regardless of whether the owner is intending to sell the property or not. This will ensure that the wiring in the home remains safe during the period the homeowner occupies the residence,” he says.

In the instance where the property is rented out, Goslett says that the owner is required to possess a valid ECOC for the electrical installation in that property and provide the tenant with a copy for their records. “According to the law, no property may be rented out without the landlord having a valid compliance certificate and rental agents are required to see the ECOC before they can assist with finding a tenant for the property,” he concludes.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 23 Feb 2018
      RE/MAX Property Associates’ Table View Office, which services property buyers and sellers along the Table Bay coastline and surrounds, has recently sold a home in Woodbridge Island for R11 million – the highest price paid for any home in the sought-after security complex.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      Choosing to invest in an overseas property can be daunting. But as more and more investors recognise the value of a diversified portfolio that includes property outside of their own country of residence, international property investment is growing in popularity.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      The positive change in South Africa’s political landscape is paving the way for an upswing in the local property market.
    • 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.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us