Thursday, April 16, 2009

Relief for sellers in meeting requirements for electrical compliance

New rulings regarding the issuing of electrical compliance certificates for residential properties effective from May 1 will simplify the demands made on sellers and buyers of residential property.

Sellers previously had to call in a registered electrician to inspect the electrical network and issue a current certificate and this had to be done prior to the transfer.

Now, however, any certificate issued in the last two years will be deemed valid, provided that no work has been done on the installation in the interim. Furthermore, the buyer does not have the right to demand a new certificate. If he wants such a certificate he must pay for it himself.

The electricians issuing such certificates now have to re-register annually, whereas before a once-off registration was acceptable. Under the new rulings it is now permissible for the owner or lessor to sign an agreement with the purchaser or lessee whereby the latter accepts the responsibility for the safety and maintenance of the electrical system. In addition, the electrician no longer has to guarantee the system is in full working order. He has only to certify that it is, in fact, completely safe.

This is a welcome clause because in the past electricians found themselves hauled over the coals time and again on account of minor malfunctions that they had not spotted, some of which may well have cropped after the transfer. An important provision in the new rulings, is that the test certificate has to accompany any new electrical compliance certificate issued. Such a certificate, would cover the entire electrical network.

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