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Thread: ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE

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    ELECTRICAL CERTIFICATE

    To Dave, or any other forumite.

    I have been in the property industry for years now and only now found out that an electrical compliance certificate is not a legal obligation during a property transaction.
    I always though it was. Now I am told if agreed between the buyer and seller only then does it become an obligation.
    I understand that all electrical installations require a certificate of compliance but my question then is why does this then not become a legal requirement before a property in transfered.

    My question to Dave:
    I bought a property in December 2007. I had the property checked by a trusted electrician and he confirmed there to be serious issues with the electrical installation.
    I then on transfer received a certificate from the sellers electrician (also the agent selling the property)
    Now during the year I have found numerous faults with the system.
    What should my course of action be if I believe the certificate was not issued properly?

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    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
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    Hey Quinn,
    Also in property for some years and this is often a hot topic!

    The way i understand it via attorneys is that the COC IS required by law on property. It supposed to be available on the premises at anytime for inspection even. Whats make it the challenge is that it is not required to be produced at the deeds office on registration so deeds will allow it through even if there is no COC.

    It is up to the attorneys/agent to ensure that the COC is in place, even if it is not mentioned in the contract. Heres another question! What constitutes a valid certificate. If you have a COC that is 3 years old, as long as there have been no structural changes or electrical changes to the system - this coc is VALID! Go figure cause there are alot of things that can stop working in 3 years. Even a small change like a ceiling fan warrants a new coc. In other words it is law to have a VALID COC, but it doesn't state how old or who should be responsible.... That law came in around 1994/96

    I always advise the sellers to get a new one cause 1) it keeps the buyer happy (sometimes ) but more importantly if someone gets injured, a child say, and the COC is in question, there is serious recourse against the seller and end up being sued for damages. Based on that the law society recommends that the seller be diligent and provide a coc, regardless of the contract not sepcific

    You can report dodgy COC to the www.ecasa.co.za which we have done before but nothing did really transpire although they did get involved and were pleasant. The problem is proving who is actually responsible the faults, ie did you not change since the coc was issued? Something else often disputed (we take care of it now but auto putting in the contract) is things like stoves, geysers etc. They themselves arn't part of a coc, only there connection the board. if the unit itself is faulty, it has nothing to do with coc. trying hey when a new buyer moves in and the element blows on the geyser same day

    Hope it helps...
    Garth

    Electric fence Installation : www.midrand-electronics.co.za
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    Dave A (20-Jan-09)

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    Another question: I heard that valid approved plans for the property has to be available to the buyer, do you hab=ve any info on this?

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    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
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    Hi. no they dont HAVE to be available. However the purchaser can request that the plans are made available as part of contract. In fact the actual building itself doesnt need to have plans, HOWEVER discolsure is expected for both bank/buyer and if not the buyer would win in court and bank, especially now, won't give finance

    We have sold before with an extension on, no plans, but an addendum stating exactly that and everything was fine with banks even, but that was before credit crunch

    I think it became contraversial recently in a law suite and we adopted a standard clause that the seller confirms the building is approved. If not we add addendums

    Of course in terms of law, plans ARE required anyway, but if the buyer accepted the risk and council come and knock it down, sorry for him!
    Last edited by garthu; 20-Jan-09 at 07:04 PM.
    Garth

    Electric fence Installation : www.midrand-electronics.co.za
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Spot on, Garth. You know your stuff.

    You also raise the key issue about validity:
    Quote Originally Posted by garthu View Post
    If you have a COC that is 3 years old, as long as there have been no structural changes or electrical changes to the system - this coc is VALID! Go figure cause there are alot of things that can stop working in 3 years.
    My argument on this is that it is reckless to assume a certificate issued on a previous transaction is still valid for the next one because of the potential that something has changed within the installation. We're dealing with a transfer of not only ownership, but effectively consequence too. It's important that somehow the validity is assured.

    Ultimately, once you navigate down all the ways this could be achieved, the best is to have a test done.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
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    m thanks..
    Learnt many the hard way! Even got scammed on my own coc. Bought, got the coc and when i sold 11 months later, paid R5000 for a new coc and that was some years ago... makes you learn
    Garth

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    Compliance Certificate - Mandatory

    Hi,

    I wonder is someone can help, I wanted to find out of a ECC is mandatory before a transfer can take place

    I am considering purchasing a property however the property is not in a good shape and extensive renovations are required. In the agreement of sale the seller has asked that I the purchaser pay for the ECC

    I suspect that in it's current state an ECC pass will not be possible, but once all renovations are complete that will be possible

    I have since revised the agreement of sale for the seller to pay as this is the norm, however if this prooves a stumbling block to the sale, can the ECC requirement be dropped and still complete the transfer of ownership and then i can obtain the ECC once the renovations are complete. If not what would be a ballpark cost of obtaining an ECC

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You might want to read this thread where the topic of the purchaser doing major alterations came up.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Article 16 clearly states that any movable/immovable item/object for which a safety standard exists may not be bartered/sold/traded or advertised for barter/sale/trade without such safety standards being met. To the full extent of the law it may not even be given away for free.

    I find it very strange that qualified "registered" Estate Agents do "not" know this.

    By "mutual written agreement" the liabillity for the COC may be transferred to the buyer
    Last edited by Sparks; 26-Jul-11 at 07:09 PM. Reason: addition

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    Im just getting ready to sell my property and need to get an electrical certificate, what i want to know is; Where do I contact an authorized electrician to conduct the inspection and issue a valid wiring certificate . (in PE)

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