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Posted By Topic: Providing COC for someone elses work

Jul 10 2012 18:41


A mate has asked me to sign off a house he bought in a mortgagee auction. One COC has been supplied for the mains, MEN board etc. However, the sparky hasn\'t supplied the COC for the rest of the house (illegal, I know), I\'m assuming because he wasn\'t paid by the owner-builder. Now the council wont provide the CCC because the COC is missing.

My understanding is only an electrical inspector can provide a COC in these situations?

I hope so because I don\'t want to get involved.



Jul 28 2012 10:02

do you know who the sparkie was who did the work? Im pretty sure he cant use the COC as leverage for payment and in fact he is breaking the law by not providing it.....perhaps a word to him about reporting him my get a result?

Ron Proffit
Jul 28 2012 11:00

Hi Paul,
In the past I have done a re-inspection and supplied a COV to AS/NZS 3019.
It has always been accepted.
Ron P

Jul 28 2012 11:03

I\'m surprised the council is awake enough to notice that the CoC doesn\'t cover the entire installation.
The rules require work to be certified BEFORE connection to a supply.
So assuming supply has been connected, an offence has been committed.
The question is who, and which offence.

There is nothing to say who must certify. The common perception is that it must be the person who did the work, but there is in fact no such rule. In fact any authorised person can certify work req\'d by ESR 66 to be certified.

There are time limits within which the certification must be done, but - disregarding the possibility that the work is not yet complete - how could anyone get charged with failing to certify when there is no rule stating who is responsible for doing it? Seems to me it would take an admission of guilt.
The key to this is ESR 73, not ESR 67. The person about to connect - whether it\'s a complete installation or a simple back-to-back socket - has to check a whole list of things BEFORE making the connection. One of these things is certification (where required).

So the cure for this starts with disconnecting whatever has not been certified.

Then inspecting and testing the work.
Then, if you feel brave enough, certifying it.
Some of us do this for work by homeowners, so doing it for work by a licensed person should - in theory - be less of a risk. That\'s if you have some evidence it actually was done by a licensed person.

Or you can try Tony\'s way, of tracking down who did it and applying a bit of pressure.

One way you\'re acting as an unpaid policeman.
The other you\'re providing a service, which you can charge for.. and in reaching the requirted state of being \"satified on reasonable grounds\" that the work complies and the installatoin is electrically safe, you might rack up quite a bit of chargeable time investigating. Could involve disconnecting all fittings, and tracing cables point-to-point. Must involve all the tests in Section 6 - earth continuity to every point, EFLI, Ins Res, polarity; the whole 9 yards. I\'d be documenting everything as insurance against any future come-back.
You only have one licence, you worked hard to get it, and you don\'t want to take any risks just to make life easy for someone else.

If you don\'t like giving away that much time, be upfront with your mate and say so. Chances are he\'d rather pay you than someone else.

Main point is, there is a way through this if you have the confidence to take it.


Jul 28 2012 11:09

Ron\'s post came in while i was writing mine.
Please note that a \"CoV\" does NOT meet the requirements in this case. It may have been accepted in ignorance, but it does NOT certify the work done and so cannot legally be used in support of getting building code compliance.
The ONLY thing a \"CoV\" is good for is reconnecting an entire installation after 6+ months\' disconnected. This assumes that the work was compliant in the first place, and if it was never certified, it can\'t have been compliant.

There can be NO substitute for having a proper CoC.

Ron Proffit
Jul 29 2012 13:19

Correct there is no substitute for the real CoC. When a property has been through a mortgagee sale how many pieces of paper have gone through how many hands? It is probably no wonder if some get lost. That is no reason the new owner should not enjoy the use of thier property. In most of these cases that is the real situation and I will help when I legally can. For the property to have been livened in the first place either a certificate was available or the electrician and inspecrtor are both guilty of an offence.
I personly work on the idea that it has been legally wired and inspected and that I am doing a re-inspection, if I find something that is dangerous I will report.
If I am wrong I will let you know next one and you can make a report.
Ron Proffit

Jul 29 2012 13:27

Always done it the same way as Ron, never had a problem.

Till now maybe??

Jul 30 2012 08:55

I have no problem with any one doing any sort of inspection. And if the council accept something less than a CoC, all well and good.

Was simply pointing out that nothing short of an actual CoC gives deemed compliane with Building Code to be the basis for issue of a code compliance certificate.

Plus that it IS legal - contrary to popular belief - for a CoC to be issued by someone other than the person who did / is responsible for the work.

In this case there is a CoC for mains & MSB - which would be enough to get connection; but a strong suggestion that no CoC exists for the rest. But regardles of whether it was issued and has been lost (chase the issuer for a copy?) or was never issued (threaten to report to the Board?); the best way forward for the owner would be to issue a CoC rather than a CoV or other inspection report.
The essential difference is that a CoC MUST be accepted by the Council, anything else is at their discretion... and with them being now very reluctant to accept any responsibility, friendly discretion is becoming less likely. Rather they\'ll want someone else to certify wherever possible, so that there can be no comeback on them.


Backside covered?
Jul 31 2012 19:36

found myself in similar situation,sparky had wired 4 townhouses,not paid by builder,suckered into job,had to supply COC for all of,I did my hardest to cover my backside,job got livened by Inspector,My E number will be forever on that job,I just hope that if all hits the Fan,I will be given the oppurtunity to have my say before I am given an Invoice from another Interested party,Thing that amazed me,Power Co,never came to remove O/H Line that ran over first Unit,Roofers even not worried,Inspecter that livened Job never mentioned.Hey,who gives a toss until its noticed?.

Aug 03 2012 21:06

I would do full checkover and test to asnzs3000 and make sure i was 150% happy with it as if i had done it myself and then if still not 100% happy have an inspector glance over it maybe? to back you up and cover your ass.

Aug 04 2012 11:54

Electricity Act 1992 - Reprint 1st April 2010 - Part 9, Section 82. - Testing, Certification, Inspection - (2) - A person must not sell, or offer for sale, any works or electrical installation or electrical appliance that has not been tested and certified in accordance with regulations.

Does this mean a person cannot sell a house if they are unable to prove via CoC\'s that any PEW on/in it is certified?

Aug 05 2012 10:55

In my view that rule can\'t be applied to that extent. All that\'s required is that the house has been tested and certified. Nothing in the rule requires any particular evidence, so innocent until proven guilty principle should apply.
Losing prior CoCs won\'t make a house-sale illegal. Never having had them will, if it can be proven.

Aug 05 2012 17:45

\"Losing prior CoCs won\'t make a house-sale illegal. Never having had them will, if it can be proven.\"

How would a potential buyer be able to tell which scenario applies?

Almost needs a CoC sent to the council and added to the properties records...

Another thought - \"...person...\" - so a corporate entity can sell without CoC\'s, but not individuals?

Might do a little more reading to see if I can figure this out, doesn\'t seem right.

Aug 05 2012 20:28

It\'s not about the prospective new owner being able to tellwhich scenario applies, it\'s about the authorities being able to find a peg to hang you onh.\\

In law a company or other body corporate can be a \"person\"

Aug 05 2012 20:55

AlecK, How could this reg be applied to a house wired in, say, 1950 that has had no alterations or updates since? May seem a silly question, but all houses wired during the Wiring Permit days will have no available documentation now. The Reg quoted above seems to rule out the sale of such properties, yet I have not heard of that being applied.
Further info people!

Aug 05 2012 20:58

And further to the above, is there now an opportunity to exploit that Reg with the RE companies? By way of some form of reverification?

Aug 06 2012 10:01

No. Have another look at those words. Nothing about WHICH Regulations . Any work done under the old permit system will have been tested and certified to the extent required by Regulations in force at the time. Same for work done under 1993 & 1997 Regs.
And if that older regime of testing and certification turns out not to have been complied with, a sale couldn\'t be rendered null and void, just that an offence has been committed.

Same principle for people selling stuff without an SDoC (when one is required): the sale is still valid,and the buyer cannot necessarily use the lack of SDoC to get their money back. But the seller commits an offence and if caught may be fined.
Remembering that most sparkies are also sellers as well as buyers.

Laws, including regulations, use very formal and careful language, and have to be read with extreme care. That doesn\'t mean the writers always get it right, sometimes they end up with a meaning they did not intend. Which simply underscores the fact that you have to put aside what you think it was intended to say, and work out what it actually does say.


Jun 26 2019 22:19

Have been asked to look at a bathroom alteration from about two years and issue a coc for the electrical work for a new client. The client is in dispute with the builder who wont supply the name of the original electrical sub contractor. Its an old house and the bathroom is in a lean-to section. Popped my head into the roof space and the cable install looked very tidy, the rcd and mcbs were nicely installed but not able to check cable install in walls. Bathroom heater installed less than 100mm from the ceiling and above the door (starting to bubble the paint on the door) is not a good sign. No record of any building or plumbing alteration permits exist at council (doors shifted, piles replaced, bath removed and shower installed. I carried out a low current EFLI test and a RCD trip test for the ladies peace of mind but have advised her that her best option is to report the builder to EWRB to see if that will get the name out of him. Or should this be taken higher to MBIE perhaps?

Jun 27 2019 08:59

I certainly wouldn't certify it.

And I wouldn't want to get into the middle of a dispute between builder & client either.
Seems likely there never was a subcontractor (or if there was, it was a cowboy), otherwise why would the builder be reluctant to say who it was? No skin off his nose unless he did the electrical himself, or if his pet cowboy cheap subbie gets put out of business.
And with no building consent, the builder himself is likely the same sort of cowboy.

Since EWRB is part of MBIE; advising them to complain about lack of CoC is your best option.


Jul 18 2019 19:26

I'm only getting this second hand so it may be a case of chinese whispers, but after advising the client to go to EWRB, they were told that the contractor can withhold Coc for whatever reason such as account dispute. But the work has been connected therefore a CoC must be issued, regardless of dispute, correct? We have been given the logged number and will be chasing this advice up from EWRB. AlecK did say "don't go near the haunted house...."

Jul 18 2019 20:31

That is 100% wrong BCee1, you cannot withhold a CoC to settle an account. This is elementary stuff, I struggle to believe someone at the EWRB said that.

Jul 19 2019 08:12

To elaborate on my previous comment:

ESR 68(1) Every certificate of compliance MUST be given, within 20 working days after its completion, to:
(a) the person who commissioned the work; or
(b) the occupier of the premises where that work was carried out.

Jul 19 2019 11:15

Unfortunately I can believe that "EWRB" may have provided advice that was completely wrong. After all, their call centre isn't even their own, it's a typical out-sourced operation that handles calls for many organisations, and the call-takers are not well trained.

On the other hand, while there's a time limit for providing a copy of CoCs; there's no specific time-frame for issuing them. So could be isued months or years later.

On the other hand, the work is not complete until certified (and RoI issued, if req'd) [ESR 65 (3) & (4)].

Also it is illegal to connect to supply without sighting a CoC (and, if req'd, an RoI) for the work [ESR 73A(1)(c)&(d)].

So far from it being OK to with-hold the CoC pending payment, it's actually the other way around: a customer is generally within their rights to with-hold payment until they get the CoC, the RoI, and the ESC.

Oct 30 2019 22:12

Update on no coc issued. This from a phone conversation to our office manager from MBIB.
MBIE found that the electrical work was completed by a registered electrician.
The electrician was not at fault re the coc, they had issued a coc.
The building contractor has the coc.
The electrician is required to hand over the coc as per the regs to the individual/company which employed them to do the work. In this case it was the building contractor not the home owner. The electrician had completed completed their obligations when they handed the coc to the contractor.
Electricians are obliged to hand over the coc as per the regs. In this case the home owners had no idea who the electrician was so were unable to directly request the coc. Again this has no bearing on the electrician.
The building contractor did not release the the coc as there was a payment dispute with the customer. There are no regs requiring the contractor to hand over the coc.

So thats it to date. For council sign off it falls on the council to chase up the coc not the home owner?

Oct 31 2019 09:44

I would expect the council's only involvement would be in relation to the building consent, eg issuing (Building) Code Compliance Cert.
Normally the consent would have been issued to the builder rather than the owner, so that's who Council would normally be chasing.