Agreements of Sale may provide for up to five different types of compliance certificates to be obtained by the Seller (unless otherwise agreed upon). These certificates must be provided to the conveyancer before the property transfer is registered.

Below are some important aspects in respect of each compliance certificate.


  • Certifies that the electrical installation on the property complies with the required safety standards (governed by the occupational health and safety Act)
  • Often remedial work is required which may take some time (best to attend as soon as possible)
  • Certificate is valid for two years, unless alterations are made prior to expiration date
  • Parties cannot contract out of/agree to waive


  • Certifies that the accessible wood of permanent structures, on the property, does not contain any wood destroying beetles
  • Usually valid for 3 to 6 months
  • Not governed by any specific law, but has become practise upon change of ownership of property
  • If parties agree that no certificate is necessary and bank requires it for purchaser’s bond, then this is for the purchaser’s expense.


  • Certifies that the gas installation on the property complies with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and require safety standards
  • Certificate must be obtained on installation
  • If any change or amendment is made, a new certificate must be obtained
  • Cannot contract out of or agree to waive


  • Only applicable to transfers within the municipal jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town
  • Certifies that the water installation at the property is in line with the City of Cape Town Water By-laws
  • A new certificate must be obtained upon every change of ownership
  • Parties cannot contract out of this or agree to waive
  • NB! Does not confirm all plumbing works in perfect condition!
  • What does the plumbing certificate confirm?

– the water installation conforms to the national building regulations;

– the property’s water meter is in working order;

– there are no defects that can cause water to run to waste; and

– no rainwater leaks into the sewerage system


  • Certifies that the electric fence installation complies with the required safety standards in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • An existing certificate may be transferred by the seller to the purchaser
  • A seller need only provide a new certificate to the purchaser if a change was made to the installation after the current certificate was issued
  • If sectional title, we obtain from the body corporate
  • Parties cannot contract out of/agree to waive

Get expert property advice

It is always recommended that sellers do their inspections at the listing stage and then they will know what they are in for in terms of repairs. In addition, although it is usually required that the seller should provide the purchaser with the certificate by no later than the date of transfer, it is best that the inspection and remedial work is at least done before occupation by the purchaser and better still even earlier, as most banks now request a copy for purposes of clearance of the bond for lodgement.

For help with any compliance certificates or property matters, please consult one of our experienced Conveyancing and Property Law attorneys.

For Conveyancing and Property Law expertise

Nicholas Hayes   

Marita Swanepoel

Farzanah Mugjenkar

David Kagan        



The articles on these web pages are provided for general information purposes only. Whilst care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the content provided is not intended to stand alone as legal advice. Always consult a suitably qualified attorney on any specific legal problem or matter.