Compliance certificates - (Unknown costs and a grudge purchase for sellers)

The matter of compliance certificates (COC) can from time to time be a contentious issue leaving a bad taste in the Sellers mouth.

Beetle, electrical, plumbing, electrified fencing and gas (if applicable) certificates of compliance are a prerequisite in most sales agreements.

Unless otherwise agreed, it is the seller's responsibility to arrange and pay for the respective inspections plus the associated repair work in order to have the property comply with the regulations set out by the municipality. It is up to the seller to decide who he/she wishes to call in to do the inspections. Some opt for individual contractors and others for the convenience of the larger firms, which can manage all inspections and
repair work under one umbrella.

In most cases sellers go ahead with the sale and once conditions like bond approval etc have been met they then attend to the inspections. While this is fine, sometimes sellers are shocked to see that the inspection report reveals far more work and far greater costs than expected. The electricity is usually the biggest culprit! Older homes can attract greater expenses, but some times even new builds can be affected due to ever changing regulations or poor workmanship.

To avoid surprises there is always the option of the seller going ahead with the inspections before listing the property on the market. Remember, one need not proceed with the actual work, but being armed with the reports and quotes can be helpful in assessing ones financial position in advance.

Also to remember is that most contractors are prepared to wait until transfer for their money i.e. the seller can go ahead with the compliance work and settle the contractor from the proceeds of the sale. The transferring attorney usually manages this on the seller's behalf.

In cases where a seller has only owned the property for a short time and feels aggrieved by a high quote it would be advisable to go back to the company that did the previous compliance work to establish if the law has since changed or if indeed their workmanship and/or material used was at
that point compliant.

Points to remember:
  • The seller is legally obligated to arrange for the compliance certificates
  • Beetle is not a "legal" prerequisite, but is usually required by the financial institutions
  • As a seller, having a copy of the past COC might be handy. These can be obtained from the transferring attorneys who attended to the sale previously
  • It can be prudent to do the inspections prior to going to market
  • The seller need not proceed with the work until a later point once the sale is complete
  • Some certificates (like beetle) have a shelf life so beware of doing it too soon
  • It's the sellers prerogative as to their choice of contractor
  • Inspections should be thorough and are not for free like a regular quote
  • Second opinions are likely to be considered as inspections and will attract fees
  • Reports and quotes are frequently not released until inspection fees have been settled
  • In most cases you can opt to pay the company later i.e. from the proceeds of the sale
  • Regulations change and therefore so do the compliance prerequisites
  • Even recently bought and re-sold properties can attracted costs
  • Short cuts can be costly and attract come backs

Here are links to some of the bigger firms used by many estate agencies:
Bugs and Sparks -
Inspecto -

For an example of the terms and conditions for one of the firms as well as their detailed check list of what is required to be compliant, click here.

For further advice on this matter or for you additional property needs please don't hesitate to contact us. Valuations are free of charge and remember our services extend from Rondebosch, Claremont, Harfield, Kenilworth and Plumstead to Tokai.

Past sales
Industry partners

Give your area specialist a call:
021-6741120 – –    

To see what we have on sale click here

BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS IN CATS: Inappropriate House Soiling

So, your cat has started urinating and/or defecating around the house. It is a bad situation for everyone, especially the cat so let's look at why these normally fastidious creatures sometimes fail in the bathroom department.

These problems often fall into two categories:

House soiling
This is when a cat that has normally been reliable at using the litter tray or the big outdoors suddenly begins to urinate and defecate around the house. They may choose a particular spot and return to it repeatedly or use different 'favourite' areas of the house.

Things to consider:
The most important thing is to rule out any underlying medical problems the cat may have. Any one of the medical issues listed below could contribute to your cats changing behaviour. So it is important to get him/her checked out thoroughly and quickly before the behaviour becomes a habit.

  • FIC – Feline Idiopathic cystitis
  • cystitis
  • blocked bladder
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid problems
  • gastrointestinal conditions
  • old age; arthritis ,mobility problems
  • senility

Litter box aversions
Your cat may just not like the litter box; the litter you are using or the area the litter box has been placed. Below is a list of things to consider regarding the litter tray:

  • is it cleaned regularly - does it smell good
  • is it easy for your cat to get into the box
  • what type of litter is used (try different ones) 
  • is your cat afraid to use the box i.e.: is it harassed by other house hold pets when using the tray or is it in a busy area of the house
  • is it close to where you feed your cat

Cats are incredibly sensitive to change so keep this in mind when ruling out possible causes.

Marking or spraying
This is a form of territory marking and is completely different from your cat just going to the bathroom. Your cat will not squat but will remain standing with their tail raised and spray against vertical objects like furniture, walls etc. Only very occasional a cat will mark territory with faeces.

This sort of behaviour often occurs when your cat is stressed. There may be a new cat in the area or new pet in the home that is threatening your cat's territory. New furniture or carpet smells can prompt a cat to spray in the house but it can also be a result of frustration – with your cat not receiving enough stimulation or playtime. Sometimes there may be an issue with diet.

The most important thing to remember is your cat is not spraying in the house to be spiteful!

What can you do?

  • Get your cat checked over thoroughly by your Vet to rule out a medical problem.
  • Try to establish, if possible, why your cat is spraying or urinating in the house. Look out for perceived threats etc. and try to avert them. You can close up the cat flap at night so no intruders can get in.
  • If your cat is going to the bathroom in a particular spot like a pot plant or piece of carpet, try moving a litter tray to the spot or using soil in the tray or an old piece of carpet! You can also try to restrict access to the area.
  • Use odour removers and repellent sprays to mask the scent. This will hopefully discourage the cat's return. Your Vet will be able to advise you as to what products are effective.
  • If your cat has a problem act quickly before the behaviour becomes a habit.
  • Call in a professional animal behaviourist who will be able to assess the situation in your home.

Domestic cats live in an incredibly stressful environment these days with many cats living in close proximity, all vying for their little bit of territory. Pop into the practice and take the Hills Stress Test to see how your cat copes with stress!

Kenilworth Vet, Harfield Village