In terms of the Electrical Machinery Regulations, 2011 an additional compliance certificate is needed to effect transfer of immovable property if an electric fence system is installed on the property to be sold. This certificate provides proof that the installed electric fence system complies with the legal requirements for such as system.
What constitutes an ‘electric fence system’?
An electric fence system is any electrified barrier consisting of one or more bare conductors erected to prevent the trespass of persons or animals, which system delivers a non-lethal charge of electrical energy to an electric fence.
In the event that an electric fence system has been erected on property to be sold, the new regulations must be complied with in order to ensure that the property can be transferred. An important date to remember is 1 December 2012 as any property that is sold, or otherwise changes ownership after this date, and which has an electric fence system, will require an electric fence system compliance certificate. This will include any property that was sold before 1 December 2012, but which has not yet been registered in the name of the purchaser.
This certificate is in addition to the familiar electrical compliance certificate and may only be issued by a registered person who is in possession of a Certificate of Competence.
Key points in complying with the regulations
The following key points should assist you in complying with the new regulations:
Every user or lessor of an electric fence system must be in possession of a compliance certificate.
The certificate can only be issued by a registered electric fence system installer, who is registered with the Department of Labour and in possession of a Certificate of Competence. Any maintanance or repair to an electric fence system may also only be done by such a registered installer.
The compliance certificate is transferrable from a seller to a purchaser and therefore a new certificate is not required for each consequent transfer of the property, unless of course, an addition or alteration has been effected to the electric fence system since the issue of the compliance certificate.
Although the regulations do not specify that the current user or lessor (owner or seller) is responsible for obtaining the certificate, it may be inferred that the seller will be the one who must obtain (and pay for) such a certificate as the certificate is transferrable. Parties to an agreement of sale may agree that the purchaser is responsible for obtaining the certificate, although this would not be in line with standard practices for electrical and/or gas compliance certificates.
When signing a deed of sale or a lease agreement, request your attorney to advise you whether an appropriate clause is incorporated in the contract if there is an electric fence on the property.
If you are installing an electric fence for the first time or upgrading or altering your existing fence, make sure that your installer is a registered installer and remember to ask for your certificate of compliance following the installation or alteration.
Lastly, be aware that this implies no more ‘DIY’ electric fence projects.
Written by Dawid Badenhorst, Director, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys Conveyancing Department
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