COC CERTIFICATES (The Potential Snags)

COC CERTIFICATES (The Potential Snags)

Ever so often we get a call from a very distraught and often times desperate property owner requesting a compliance re-inspection?
When we get this call we usually know what happened. In most cases the client requested a CoC Certificate and inspections from “Company X” and later received a ridiculously high repair quote.
The client either didn’t budget for this or didn’t foresee a huge compliance repair quote.  Now you, the client,  is sitting with a huge repair quote that needs to be settled before the COC certificate can be issued. The compliance inspection company then withholds the CoC Certificate until all repairs are completed by them and the complete bill is settled in full.
So essentially we have a Mexican stand-off.  Well not exactly but you know what i mean.

Nobody wants to find themselves in this situation when selling a home without the required CoC Certificates as this is probably the worse-case scenario. The whole ordeal of selling a property is stressful enough and quite daunting to begin with, especially if its your first time. So what do you do in this instance? You desperately need that CoC Certificate? What are your options limited to?
Lets look at a few directions you can take.

 

Obtaining a CoC Certificate & the available options 

You could choose to do any one of the following options to acquire a CoC certificate based on your circumstances:

Option #1) Close your eyes and settle the bill, receive your CoC Certificate and live on potatoes for the next two months. (Not recommended)

Option #2) Request to see physical and photographic evidence of the listed items in question from the electrician, plumber or beetle inspector before you settle an fees. (recommended)

Option #3) Request a price breakdown of each item on the quote to see where your hard earned money is actually going. (Highly recommended)

Option #4) Request a 2nd opinion from another reputable compliance company to see if the same issues are identified in their compliance inspection. (recommended)

Now lets unpack the above 4 options to identify the pros and cons of each scenario to acquire your coc compliance certificates with the least hassle as possible.

 

Option #1 (Settle the excessively high bill)

Excessive compliance costs

High compliance fees

PROS:
So there is very little Pro to just settling a high compliance inspection quote without investigating the matter even a little.
The only pro i can think of is the following:

  1. You do not delay the transfer process any longer. That’s it!

CONS:
This one is not pretty and you will more than likely regret it later.

  1. You are aware of the fact that you are getting ripped off yet you proceed anyway. 
  2. The compliance company or compliance technician gets away with what essentially boils down to theft and fraud.
  3. The compliance industry and its highly skilled tradesmen get a bad rap.
  4. Your overall cost to sell up and relocate increased exponentially.

 

Option #2 (Request Evidence) 

investigate high compliance quotes

So this option is not going to be the easiest but can and will most likely save you more money than time.

PROS:

  1. You save a heap of cash
  2. You identify and weed out dodgy compliance inspectors and report them to the necessary authorities
  3. You could save another unsuspecting seller from the same demise.
  4. You have a good advice to share and build up your knowledge in the subject to advise others going through a similar process of the potential pitfalls.

CONS:

  1. You delay the property transfer and lodging process by a few days
  2. Your relationship with the compliance company or technician you are doing business with could become unpleasant. 
  3. You have to physically access some hard-to-reach places to investigate questionable compliance repair items

 

Option #3 (Itemized Billing) 

compliance inspection quote

Requesting itemized billing will give you more detail on what exactly you are quoted on and for how much.

PROS: 

  1. You will have leverage to negotiate better rates of items
  2. You can identify excessive costing on repairs
  3. If you decide to request a second opinion you can compare repair rates and repair time-frames with another professional.

CONS: 

  1. Again, you risk delaying the property transfer and lodging process by a few days.
  2. Your relationship with the compliance company or technician you are doing business with could become heavily strained

 

Option #4 (Get a 2nd Opinion)

compare compliance inspection quotes

Compare compliance repair quotes

Request a 2nd opinion from a reputable compliance company to see if the same issues are identified in the inspection

PROS:

  1. You will have a second opinion to compare compliance inspection quotes to
  2. A professional can advise you on the best way forward
  3. You stand to save thousands in the long-term
  4. Identify if unnecessary repair items where included to inflate repair bills

CONS:

  1. You will need to pay the 2nd inspection fee to the other compliance company or technician for the inspection
  2. Again, you risk delaying the property transfer and lodging process by a few days.

 

CONCLUSION

So there you have it. Your situation isn’t exactly ideal but you have options to obtain that CoC Certificate. If this is the case then we would advise on either Option 2,3 or 4. Yes it will delay matter for a few days and you might end up paying for additional compliance inspections to obtain the CoC Certificate but you also stand to save many thousands in the long run. Its worth doing the exercise and even if you delay matters you will feel more satisfied you did. Also we are not encouraging or suggesting you question every single quote, just those that seems excessive. If the compliance inspection fails and you are presented with a hefty bill and the compliance officer can produce evidence by either showing you hard evidence, a photo and if necessary where in the regulation it states the particular item needs to be rectified before he can issue the CoC Certificate, then there is no option but to proceed.
Also, the day you decide to sell your property, don’t wait until you have a buyer, get your CoC Certificates sorted first. That way if you do run into any hassles you do not delay the transfer process a minute longer. Do the compliance repairs correctly and walk away knowing you sold a house that is 100% legally compliant. Knowing your CoC Certificate is legal and above board.

QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS

Also remember, a qualified professional plumber. electrician or beetle inspector is a skilled worker and cannot work for minimum wage as they are skilled and semi-skilled professionals that have studied their trade and got qualified to earn a decent living. Lets be honest, we all need to be more money conscious, absolutely but we also do not want to sell a professional short to save a few dimes. The point is that this industry doesn’t have a great reputation due to many backdoor compliance technicians issuing illegal CoC Certificates, tarnishing the reputation for other skilled professionals. Fact is this industry is more like the Breede river in the summer, muddy and filled with Zambezi sharks! 

ACCOUNTABILITY

This is a very important factor to remember. The compliance company and more particularly the electrician or plumber is going to be held responsible and liable for that CoC Certificate sign-off for the next 6 months to 2 years. If any compliance related issues arise within that time-frame he will be the one that gets called as his details are all on the CoC Certificate and he will need to go to the site at his or his companies expense to investigate and possibly repair the issues.  So if your plan was to get your neighbors friends, cousin to do the repairs at a much discounted rate and get the compliance inspector to sign off the CoC Certificate – think again!

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