We recently purchased a property, upon c...

Asked by Biancav on 27-09-2021 18:35:02
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Gauteng

We recently purchased a property, upon calling out an electrician to connect the existing security cameras, the electrician had advised us that he wanted to see the coc supplied by the selling to register the bond, he had advised us that the coc was null and void as there are serious issues by just the naked eye inspection and that we need to escalate it ASAP, the property has been registered for a week now. We escalated it to the bond attorneys and the real estate agency, the real estate agency told us to take it up with the electrician that the seller used. Is this our responsibility? Are we liable for costs to fix the issues that is life threatening or the seller? We are currently renting and should be out by Thursday, however what do we do now that the property is nof safe for our kids? The estimated costs of the repair is ranging between R40 000 to R50 000 pending a full inspection which cannot be done as the current coc will then "fall away"

Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-09-2021 18:50:01

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!

Att. Patrick

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-09-2021 19:04:30

Q: Is this our responsibility? --> In short, yes, it is unfortunately your responsibility to deal with the issue. The conveyancing attorneys and the bond attorneys have finished their job, and at any rate, the one represents the interests of the seller and the other represents the interests of the bank. You need your own lawyer to represent your own interests.

In short, it looks like the COC might be non-compliant and the seller might have breached the terms of the sale agreement. Alternatively, the seller's electrician might have issued a non-compliant COC and everyone (including the seller) went on with the transaction not aware that the COC was non-compliant.

So, you would have a claim against the electrician to fix the electricity installation because he basically told you that the installation was compliant. 

Q: We are currently renting and should be out by Thursday, however what do we do now that the property is nof safe for our kids? --> You get your electrician to fix the issues ASAP before you move in! 

You would also have a claim against the seller for allowing transfer to go through with a non-compliant COC. 

So, you could either try get one of them to fix the issues, or you could appoint your own electrical to fix the issues and then give you a report detailing the non-compliant issues of the COC and the costs that you incurred to fix it. 

AND then you would sue the seller, and perhaps the seller's electrician as a second defendant, to recover your costs. 

But you would need to get the issues sorted out first, so you could calculate your damages. Then sue for your damages -- otherwise you would be suing and you would not really know what amount you were suing for!

Q: Are we liable for costs to fix the issues that is life threatening or the seller? --> The seller is liable, for the above reasons. 

Q: The estimated costs of the repair is ranging between R40 000 to R50 000 pending a full inspection which cannot be done as the current coc will then "fall away" --> You need to get this work done, otherwise you won't have an actual "amount" that you would sue the seller for ... you would only have an estimate / quote, which could change. 

Att. Patrick 

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow-up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted to be answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-09-2021 19:06:31

You should also check on the COC to see if that electrican is registered! 

https://briefly.co.za/46373-how-check-electrician-registered-south-africa.html

https://ecb.org.za/

If he is not registered, then the seller has used an illegal electrician. 

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