From 1 October 2012, the “Electrical Machinery Regulations” require you to have an “electric fence system certificate” if you install, add to or alter any electric fence. Fences in place as at 1 October 2012 are exempt as long as they remain as is.
The risk for property buyers and sellers is that the requirement for a certificate kicks in not only if you extend or alter an existing fence, but also when the property is sold. As there is no clarity on whether it is the seller or the buyer who must obtain the certificate – this is a recipe for dispute and delay.
Buyers: Your risk
As the Regulations don’t specifically require the seller to provide you with a certificate, it is quite possible that the transfer could go through without one. And if that happens, you will find yourself in contravention of the law, and having to apply for a certificate yourself. As the Regulations aim to standardise fences to comply with set specifications, you could find yourself having to bring the fence up to spec at major cost and inconvenience. Don’t risk that – insist on a clause in your sale agreement requiring the seller to provide the compliance certificate prior to transfer!
Note: A certificate once issued is transferable to a new owner. So a subsequent sale won’t require a new certificate unless the fence has been altered in the interim – where applicable, the seller should warrant that no such alterations have taken place.
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