Gas installations have to be certified

A rapidly increasing number of homeowners have reacted to the electricity load-shedding crisis and to the prospect of rapidly increasing electricity costs by installing gas powered energy systems, says Sean McCauley, regional executive director of Rawson Properties Gauteng and adjacent precincts.

This, he said, can lead to sale problems because many people are unaware of certain pre-sale statutory requirements regarding gas installations.

“Although it is very seldom mentioned in deeds of sale and although estate agents and even attorneys are often not aware of it, an amendment to the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act in July 2009 stipulates that anyone selling a home in which there is a gas installation has to get a certificate of conformity from an accredited gas authority and that a copy of this should be handed to the buyer,” said McCauley.

According to McCauley, such a certificate has by law to be given after every gas installation, modification or alteration.

“The certificate being required for a sale,” said McCauley, “is a wise provision. It could prevent subsequent claims from the buyer – especially if a later gas explosion causes serious damage.

Buyers, on the other hand, must insist on getting a copy of the gas certificate before they take transfer and estate agents should start including the requirement for a gas certificate of conformity in their documents as a condition of sale.

Estate agents, added McCauley, should also check on listing the property if there is a gas system anywhere and should immediately start asking for this certificate of conformity.

“It sometimes happens that the gas installation is in the domestic quarters, the braai area or the granny flat – however, all these have to be certified and approved by an authorised accreditor. If this is not done, the entire sale can be held up.”

“The fact that it is not mentioned in the Alienation of Land Act,” said McCauley, “is irrelevant. It is a legal requirement in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and there is absolutely no way this can be bypassed.”

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