Property Article by Keran Henwood

COOKING WITH GAS

Most sellers are aware that pest and electrical certificates must be provided when selling property. These certificates confirm that the buildings on the property are free from insect infestation and that the electrical installations have been safely fitted. What often comes as a surprise is the requirement for the provision of electric fence and gas installation compliance certificates.

Recent amendments to the Electrical Machinery Regulations now require that every “user” of an electric fence hold an Electric Fence System Compliance Certificate. The certificate is not required for electric fences installed before October 2012, but a certificate should be obtained for every new electric fence, whenever an existing fence is changed, or if there is a change of ownership of the property on which the fence was erected. Remember that, unlike the electrical compliance certificate, the obligation to hold a certificate does not only arise on transfer – if your electric fence falls into one of these three categories, you should hold a certificate as a “user”.  The good news is that the certificate is transferable, so as long as the electric fence system remains as it was at the time of issue of the certificate, there is no need to obtain a new certificate.

The Pressure Equipment Regulations, which were promulgated in October 2009, require that gas appliances installed in properties be certified as being safely fitted and leak free. Gas Installation Certificates are required for installations such as gas fireplaces, stoves and hot water systems and must be issued by an authorized person registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of South Africa. The certificate must be given to the purchaser before transfer a property is transferred.

The installation of both electric fences and gas equipment in homes is becoming more prevalent in reaction to increased crime rates, and soaring electricity charges. As these certificates must be to hand on the sale of a property, it is important that both prospective sellers and purchaser are alive to the fact that they are a legal necessity. This will enable sellers to proactively request these certificates from the certified installers of electric fences or gas applicances when they are installed in their properties, and to keep them somewhere safe for when they are required on the sale of the property. It will also empower purchasers to specifically ask for these certificates when they view properties with electric fences or gas installations.

It is also important to include appropriate clauses in sale agreements dealing with these requirements. If you are buying or selling a property with an electric fence or gas appliance, Venn’s property team has the expertise to ensure that your sale agreement contains the necessary clauses to ensure that your property transaction goes through as smoothly as possible.

Article written by Keran Henwood

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