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The documents required to sell a house in South Africa

The documents required to sell a house in South Africa include five compliance certificates obtained through home inspections. Here is a rundown.

Documents Required To Sell House South Africa

Article summary

  • Basic paperwork required includes proof of your identity, the title deed for the property, some forms, and confirmation of your acceptance of the offer to purchase.
  • In addition, you require five compliance forms that are issued following a home inspection.
  • The five forms ensure that electrical, water and gas installations are in order. They also cover beetle infestations.

Selling a property is a profitable endeavor, but it does bestow some responsibilities on the seller.

If you’re selling a home, then aside from the usual documentation required to prove your identification, you’ll need five compliance certificates that ensure the property is in good order.

It’s your responsibility to conduct the necessary inspections to secure these certificates.

We provide a rundown of the documents you need, including the certificates:

The documents required to sell property

First, the basic paperwork you’ll need:

  • Proof of your identity.
  • Title deed for the property.
  • Shared Freehold documents for the property (only if your property retains a share of the freehold) or leasehold documents (if it’s a leased property).
  • Management Information Pack (required if you pay service charges or if the property is a leasehold).
  • Fittings and Contents Form (details what is included in the sale of your home, such as furniture and fittings).
  • Property information form, a comprehensive form that provides detailed information on the property that the buyer may need to know, such as insurance information, disputes with neighbours, environmental risks etc.
  • Details of your current bond, including what you still owe.
  • Document stating your acceptance of the offer to purchase.

The compliance certificates

Now we move onto the next step; the compliance certificates that you will need to acquire via home inspections.

There are five required certificates:

  1. Electrical Certificate of Compliance 
  • Ensures that all electrical work conforms to regulation standards.
  • Can only be issued by registered electrical contractors.
  • The property seller is exempt from having to obtain a this certificate if they already have one that is less than two years old, and the property has not undergone any alterations.
  • However, the requirement for a certificate may be included in the offer to purchase, even if the above two conditions are met.
  1. Electrical Fence Certificate
  • Naturally, this is only required if there is an electric fence installed. If so, the fence requires separate certification from the rest of the electrical grid.
  • The validity of the certificate does not expire within a certain period. However, the certificate needs to be issued if there is a change of ownership on a property with an electric fence, or if any alterations to the fence have occurred.
  • On a sectional title property, the electric fence is deemed to be the responsibility of the body corporate. Therefore the body corporate must have the certificate in their possession.
  1. Water Installation Certificate
  • Ensures that water regulation conforms to National Building Regulations.
  • Note This is sometimes referred to as a plumbing certificate but that is inaccurate, as the plumbing system is not inspected when this certificate is issued.
  • The law does not specifically require that the certificate be provided to the buyer, although the buyer should include the requirement in the offer to purchase.
  1. Gas Certificate of Compliance
  • Ensures that all gas installations are in order, such as gas-powered stoves, fires and geysers.
  • Can only be issued by an authorised person registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS).
  • There is no fixed period of validity, but a new certificate must be obtained whenever there are alterations to any of the gas installations, or when there is a change in ownership of the property.
  1. Beetle-free certificate
  • Confirms that there are no beetles eating into the wooden structures.
  • Not required by law, but should be listed as a requirement in the offer to purchase.
  • The bank may require that a beetle-free certificate be issued before they approve the home loan (in which case it will be the responsibility of the buyer to obtain one).

How much does a certificate of compliance cost?

There are a number of organisations that offer inspection services. The estimated cost will usually be R500 — R1000 per certificate (R850 — R1500 for the Electrical Certificate of Compliance), depending on the size of the property and the location.

Who pays for the certificates of compliance?

The seller usually pays. We have mentioned some exceptions, such as when a beetle-free inspection is not required by the offer to purchase but is required by the bank for home loan approval.

Our advice: Hire an estate agent

If it all seems overwhelming, bear in mind that an estate agent can be a huge help in organising the various documents. They will advise you on what you need, and the costs involved.

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