Frequently Asked Questions
Electrical, Gas, Plumbing, Pest Control and Electrified Fence Maintenance
1. As a new homeowner, what are my obligations to my insured property?
According to Section 17 of the Broadform Building Insurance Policy of March 2014:
You (as the company or legal entity) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the insured property complies with the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (No.103 of 1997), as amended or substituted from time to time, or any similar applicable legislation, and the regulations thereto. You must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that plans were submitted to and approved by the local authority at the relevant time of construction.
You must also comply with all statutory obligations, laws and bylaws, regulations, safety requirements and statutes and regulations thereto imposed for the safety of property or persons.
As a new homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure your household insurance remains valid, it is vital that your certificates are kept up to date and does not lapse. The repercussions of allowing certificates to lapse is that your insurance company reserves the right to not honour any of your claims.
2. As a seller, what are my responsibilities?
By law, as the seller, you are required to provide the attorneys with all the relevant certificates of compliance in order for your property ownership to be transferred.
3. As a purchaser, what should I know?
You should receive copies of the certificates of compliance as proof that it was issued. This document will include the inspector’s information as well as the contractor. You could need this information in the future.
4. How does the process work to get the necessary certificates?
We have always suggested that before you sign the “offer to purchase” that you, as the seller, at least have the electrical compliance inspection done. This will give you a good idea of the cost involved in getting a certificate.
A frequent problem is that the seller has already calculated the net income and has not taken the repairs into account. Knowing the cost of any repairs gives you the ability to negotiate.
We will come out to your property to do the inspection. If your property is compliant we will issue the certificates. However, should any repairs be necessary, we will issue you with a report as well as a quote to do the repairs. Once the repairs have been completed we will issue the certificate(s) to you, the agent and your attorneys.
5. What do you base the inspections on?
We use the following legislation:
- Electrical: SANS 10142-1
- Electrical fence: SANS 10222-3
- Gas: SANS 10087-1:2013
- Water: City of Cape Town by-laws
- Beetle: Department of Agriculture and the South African Pest Control Association regulations
We base our inspections on the above legislation and by-law regulations. We then formulate reports of items that need to be rectified before we issue the certificates of compliance.
6. Why do I have to pay for the inspections if I am not accepting your quote?
The inspections are conducted by qualified staff members who are knowledgeable of the relevant regulations. The inspection fee is for them to identify all the issues that need to be rectified before certificates are issued.
An inspection can take anywhere up to two hours. This differs to a quoting on work you are requesting which takes about 15min to complete
7. I purchased the property less than three years ago. Why are there so many items that need to be rectified?
Our suggestion is always to go back to the previous contractor to rectify the items that should have been done when they issued the initial certificate. Generally there will be some maintenance issues that need your attention. However, we sometimes find items that should have been done when you initially received transfer of the property.
8. What is a verified inspection and why should I have this done as the purchaser?
Another suggestion is that you, as the purchaser, get a verified inspection done. With Bugs & Sparks, this will cost you R495 for the inspection. This will either give you peace of mind knowing that the installation at your new property meets regulations and there are no nasty surprises waiting for you, or alternatively we will issue you with a report of items that need to be done before your house is compliant.
Many purchasers don’t see the value in doing this until they sell the property on. We also suggest giving the previous contractor the opportunity to rectify the errors before taking it further. should you need to do this we would be able to assist you.
9. What is the difference between the “proceeds” and “cash discounted price” payment options?
- Proceeds payment option: the attorneys settle our account for the inspections and repairs (if any) when your property is transferred.
- Cash discounted price: receive a discount on the inspections depending on which inspections you have completed and a 15% discount on the repairs, as long as the repairs are paid the day before or on the day of repairs.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to issue the inspection reports or certificates of compliance before payment has been received.
10. Can I repair some of the items on your report myself?
Absolutely! We document all the items we identify and send this to you in a report. We allow our clients to do up to 30% of the value of the quote, so if there are items you want to do yourself them please let us know. We will adjust the quote and double check these items for you on the day of repairs.
11. Can you issue a certificate of compliance on someone else’s work after you have done the inspection?
Unfortunately not. Once someone else has completed the repairs they should be able to issue the certificate of compliance, as long as they are registered and qualified. We cannot assume the risk of another person’s workmanship or judgment as this could prevent a claim being granted by our insurance company should something unforseen happen