Sellers need to be aware of compliance surprises

If you ask sellers about the biggest annoyances of selling a home, chances are, compliance certificates would feature high up on the list. These government-mandated documents (certifying electrical, water/plumbing, gas, beetle and electric fences) are often thought of as meaningless bureaucratic hurdles. Just another unnecessary property “tax” – pay a fee, get a certificate, right? Wrong.

This perception is not just inaccurate, it can also cause real problems for unsuspecting sellers. It’s becoming increasingly common for homeowners to be caught by surprise when they book a compliance inspection and find out they have a number of issues to fix. These remediations can involve significant expense, which is hard to stomach when the item you’re supposedly fixing didn’t appear to be broken.

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While this confusion is understandable, the problem isn’t that unethical inspectors are taking advantage, as many assume. The reality is that compliance professionals are not there to simply check that everything is working. Their job is to ensure your home complies with essential safety regulations – and those regulations evolve over time.

Just because your home was compliant a short while ago doesn’t mean it’s up to standard now. Plumbing regulations, in particular, have been recently amended and even newer homes are having to make changes in order to comply. It’s obviously not ideal, as a seller, to have to foot the bill for these changes, but it’s a lot easier to handle when they don’t catch you completely by surprise. A good estate agent should be able to give homeowners some idea of what to expect from the compliance process, based on the age and condition of their home, and by keeping up to date on the changes. They always work with compliance professionals and can connect sellers with companies they know deliver the best service in the best time, and at the best price. If you’re worried about being taken for a ride during the compliance process, it’s a good idea to go with a word-of-mouth recommendation.

Above all, approach compliance certificates with your eyes wide open, and budget for more than just the inspection fee. That said, don’t be shy to ask questions, if you’re not convinced a repair or change is necessary, you have every right to ask to see the regulations behind it. Your real estate agent should have your back too, helping you get through the whole process with as little hassle – and expense – as possible.

Referenced from https://businesstech.co.za/news/property/590610/homeowners-in-south-africa-need-to-beware-these-compliance-surprises/ 

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