New electrical certificate rulings now being used

New rulings regarding the issuing of electrical compliance certificates for residential properties, which will come into effect from the 1st of May this year (2009), will simplify the demands made on sellers and buyers of residential property.

Pointing this out, Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, said that the regulations had traditionally made it mandatory for the seller of a property to give the purchaser a certificate confirming that the electrical installations were in working order.

This, said Steward, had meant that the seller 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, too, 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 that the system is in full working order. He has only to certify that it is, in fact, completely safe.

This, said Steward, 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, said Steward, is that the test certificate has to accompany any new electrical compliance certificate issued. Such a certificate, she said, would cover the entire electrical network.

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