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Beetle Certificate


Beetle Certificate

Category Legal

The Beetle Certificate is, contrary to popular belief, not a legal requirement.  However, in most instances financial institutions will require a beetle-free certificate prior to approving a home loan, especially in coastal regions where wood-boring beetles are more likely to occur.

The banks want to be assured that the timbers within the property are structurally sound and particularly that the roof will not collapse. Over the years it has become standard practice to include the beetle clause in a deed of sale. It should be agreed between the seller and purchaser which party will supply the certificate and bear the costs thereof.

Attention must be given to the wording of the clause. It can either be set out specifically or generally. If you specify the beetle species you must ensure that all species that are known to that area are included. 

In the Cape Town and surrounding areas these three wood-borer beetles are commonly found: 

(a) ANOBIUM PUNCTATIUM - Found predominately in wooden flooring (Commonly known as furniture beetle) 

(b) HYLOTRUPES BAJULES - Found predominately in roof trusses, fascia boards and Wendy houses.

(c) OXYPLERUS NODIERI  - Found predominately in roof trusses, fascia boards and Wendy houses.

We recommend the generally worded clause to include all possible species that may occur on the property. See example as set out below:

“BEETLE CERTIFICATE  (recommended clause for a deed of sale)
The Seller undertakes at his own expense to arrange for the accessible portions of the Property to be inspected by a Government approved entomologist for beetle and to furnish the Purchaser with a Beetle Free Certificate.

Should any work be required to be done to infested timber so infested before a Beetle Free Certificate can be issued, then such work shall be effected at the expense of the Seller prior to registration of transfer”
If you make use of the specific worded clause and another un-specified beetle species is present on the property you should be aware of the following scenarios:

If the Seller was unaware of beetle infestation at the time of contracting, the purchaser will have to pay for the remedy to eliminate the beetles.

If the seller was aware of beetle infestation at the time of contracting and failed to disclose it, he would not be able to rely on the voetstoots clause to avoid liability.

Interesting Fact:
The Beetle free certificate is only A VISUAL inspection of the ACCESSIBLE timbers on the property for ACTIVE wood-borer infestation by a qualified, registered, beetle inspector.

Author Agrisell
Published 12 Jul 2016 / Views -
Disclaimer:  While every effort will be made to ensure that the information contained within the Agrisell website is accurate and up to date, Agrisell makes no warranty, representation or undertaking whether expressed or implied, nor do we assume any legal liability, whether direct or indirect, or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. Prospective purchasers and tenants should make their own enquiries to verify the information contained herein.
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