If you’re about to put your home on the market, you’ll probably get out the Dulux, Q20 and garden rake in an effort to spruce up your most valuable asset. Unfortunately, aesthetics aren’t all you have to worry about. Whether you’re about to sell your property through a private sale or an estate agent, you need to ensure that the building in question has certificates of compliance in place.

By neglecting to obtain the required certificates of compliance, you’re inadvertently playing a game of Russian roulette.

The onus falls on you to ensure that your house is legally fit for sale. In South Africa, property owners are required – by law – to obtain an electrical certificate of compliance as well as a plumbing certificate of compliance. If your property is located in a coastal region, you’ll also need a certificate of clearance for wood borer beetles. If you use any appliances that run on gas – like a stove or built-in braai – you’ll need a gas certificate of compliance too. Without these pre-requisites in place, you run the risk of jeopardising the sale. In addition, you’ll be held financially responsible for any incidents that occur due to electrical, gas or plumbing faults or pest infestations once the new owners have taken up residence.

Don’t take a short cut when it comes to obtaining electrical certificates of compliance.

An Electrical Certificate of Compliance assures a new homeowner that the circuit boards and wiring in their new home are safe to use. New regulations, that came into effect in 2009, dictate that these certificates of compliance may only be issued by an individual or company approved by the Chief Inspector.
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Many sellers often neglect to read the small print though – this certificate may only change hands if it’s less than two years old. Before putting your house on the market,  find out whether you need to obtain an updated certificate or not.

Blocked drains not only bring your sewage systems to a standstill, but the sale of your property too.                         

The laws regarding the length of time a plumbing certificate of compliance remains valid for are hazy.  It’s therefore advisable to obtain new plumbing certificates of compliance when putting your property on the market. These can only be issued by a person or company who’s registered with The Institute of Plumbing South Africa. The requirements of these certificates are vast – so make sure to read up on what exactly these entail here.

Without a gas certificate of compliance, your whole sale could go up in flames.

The use of gas in homes has made a big comeback. Thanks to rising electricity costs, as well as the rise of the ‘celebrity chef’, gas is now the energy source of preference among cost-cutters and wannabe Jamie Olivers alike. Many homeowners often neglect the fact that even if they solely use electricity, an outdoor gas braai means that they’ll need to obtain a gas certificate of compliance before selling their house.

 A beetle certificate assures prospective buyers that they won’t be sharing their home with any unwanted guests.

While there are no legal requirements for pest certificates of compliance, it’s highly recommended that you obtain these before selling your home. While many buyers neglect to ask for one, all financial institutions do, so if someone wants to buy your house with a bond, their offer is dependent on this all important piece of paper.
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The most common of these documents goes by the self-explanatory name of a beetle certificate. This states that there are no Hylotropes bajulus (old-house borer beetles) or Anobium punctatum (common furniture beetles)  present on the property. Ideally, a certificate that covers all wood destroying organisms should be obtained. This is granted by the South African Pest Control Association (SAPCA). The best way of going about obtaining one of these certificates is to contact a registered pest control service, who’ll inspect your property for any organisms that might compromise the structural integrity of your home. This includes wood borer beetles, subterranean termites, as well as brown or wet rot. [hs_action id="1098"] Image Credit: Terry B'S Home Inspections   
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