Internal Publication: Conveyancing – CERTIFICATES OF CONFORMITY FOR GAS APPLIANCES

WHAT IS A CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMITY FOR GAS APPLIANCES

A Certificate of Conformity for Gas Appliances, also known as a gas compliance certificate, is a certificate issued by an authorised person registered to issue such certificate in terms of the regulations. The certificate warrants that any gas appliances present on the property are safe according to the applicable standards.  Such a certificate must be obtained whenever a gas appliance is installed, altered or modified and, most importantly, upon any change of ownership of the property.

CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMITY FOR GAS APPLIANCES AND THE SALE OF YOUR HOME

Regulation 17(3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations promulgated in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 became effective on 1 October 2009 and makes it compulsory for a gas compliance certificate to be obtained in the event that a property is sold. 

It should be noted that it matters not that the installation of the gas appliance predates 1 October 2009 and the certificate is required despite this fact.

Unlike in the case of the Electrical Compliance Certificate, there is no similar regulation regarding the length of the period of validity of a gas compliance certificate.  It is, therefore, recommended that such a certificate is acquired on the sale of the property regardless of how old the existing one may be.

The seller will generally be responsible for the obtaining of such a certificate and the banks are beginning to demand such certificates as a condition of any bond that may be registered to finance the property where gas is applicable.

WHAT IS A GAS APPLIANCE?

The terms ‘gas’ and ‘gas system’ are broadly defined and will include anything that uses any amount of gas.  Hot water systems, gas fires and built in gas braai equipment must be construed as gas appliances.  If you unsure as to whether a particular system constitutes a gas appliance, err on the side of caution and obtain a gas compliance certificate regardless.

MAY A CERTIFICATE OF CONFORMITY BE WAIVED?

The Occupational Health and Safety Act read with the pressure equipment regulations provides that every gas installation must have a valid Certificate of Conformity for Gas appliances.  This requirement cannot be waived but the responsibility to obtain the certificate can be shifted from the seller to the purchaser by way of an appropriate clause in the agreement. 

RECOMMENDED CLAUSE FOR SALE AGREEMENT

The Seller undertakes to, at the Seller’s expense obtain, from an accredited person, a Certificate of Conformity confirming that any gas installations on the Property comply with section 17(3) of Government Notice R734 of 15 July 2009, Government Gazette 32395.  The Certificate shall be delivered to the Purchaser prior to the date of occupation or within five (5) days of demand for delivery.

The parties agree that the Certificate of Conformity certifies that any gas installation on the Property complies with the safety standards as determined by the relevant legislation and is not to be regarded as a general guarantee covering all aspects of any gas installation present on the Property.  The Purchaser shall have no further claims against the seller with regard to any gas installation on the Property.

IN SUMMARY

A Certificate of Conformity should be treated in the  same fashion as an Electrical Compliance Certificate. The only difference between the two is the period of validity. Given that the situation is unclear on the period of validity of a gas compliance certificate, the recommended option is to obtain a new certificate whenever a property is sold.