20 Dec 2012
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 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.
He says 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. Goslett says failure to produce the document could result in the insurance company repudiating the claim.
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 the same ECOC that was provided to them when they purchased the home, regardless of how long ago that was.
According to Goslett, 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 conveyance attorneys, as legislation requires a property owner to produce a valid certificate of compliance on request to an inspector.
Goslett says 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.”
Goslett 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.
Alternatively, the entire installation can be checked once the additional work has been completed and an entirely new certificate can be issued covering all the electrical work, he says.
“As a rule of thumb, it is good maintenance practice 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.”
In the instance where the property is rented out, Goslett says 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.
He says 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.
Farm for sale in Bela Bela, Bela Bela, Limpopo R 2 700 000
House for sale in Vanderbijlpark SE2, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng R 1 300 000
Farm for sale in Riversdale, Riversdale, Western Cape R 7 665 000
House for sale in De Tuin, Brackenfell, Western Cape R 920 000
House for sale in Brettenwood Coastal Estate, Sheffield Beach, KwaZulu Natal R 5 995 000
Vacant Land / Plot for sale in Vista Park, Bloemfontein, Free State R 310 000
House for sale in Soshanguve East, Pretoria, Gauteng R 315 000
House for sale in Sedgefield, Sedgefield, Western Cape R 1 700 000
House for sale in Mariannhill Park, Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal R 810 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Vredehoek, Cape Town, Western Cape R 2 300 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Customer Service Centre for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724