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-   -   Proof of safe electrics before we buy house (https://www.englishforum.ch/housing-general/19337-proof-safe-electrics-before-we-buy-house.html)

swinburne 21.02.2008 17:58

Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi
i haven't posted for ages here but I have been reading the posts. We will be moving into our new house in Vercorin, Valais on the 1st April and really excited about it. it has been a long road to get here but hopefully we will be enjoying Switzerland soon.
One question I have is that the owner has to mend the electrics in the house and they have to up to the legal standard. A Clause was placed in the Acte Doc which said that the electrics had to be legal before we could take over the house. The Agents informs me the electrics have been checked and mended. He has asked me to write a letter to the electrician to ask him to verify the work, what he has mended and if they are safe.

Eventually the question is, do we get a certificate to show the electrics are safe or is a letter from the electrician the proof?
I ask this because the owner is not as trustworthy as we thought so we are watching our backs as much as possible. I have told the Notaire that we are not parting with any money until we see the certificate.
If anyone has any light or idea about this please post.

Apparently the law states that the electrics have to be checked and updated when the property changes hands,
Look forward to hearing from you
Swinburne.

J_T 21.02.2008 18:13

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
I would be sure the electrician not only lists all work he has done, but certifies the whole house as safe and within code, plus a warranty on his work, all in writing. If there is any holding back you have good grounds for suspicion and you can make a complaint to the Commune building authority. No Swiss would accept less, why should you?

Lob 21.02.2008 18:23

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
the local commune should be able to recommend an indepentent person to verify everything; I had on a newbuild some guy come around and stick his bits into my sockets.

He survived, I passed.

Another option is the local electricity supplier.

Shorrick Mk2 21.02.2008 18:31

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lob (Post 177100)
some guy come around and stick his bits into my sockets.

Did he now...

J_T 21.02.2008 18:32

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
What is really nice to have is a wiring plan for the whole house, if the seller or electrician have one.

Coolio 21.02.2008 18:33

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
I believe this inspection is usually done by someone from the Geminde. at least it was this way when I purchased my house. I would recommend that you withhold an appropriate amount of the money until the Geminde has certified that all is in order.

swinburne 21.02.2008 18:33

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Thank you so much for your quick advice. So you think I should get it independantly checked by another electrician. How can I do this from the UK? How do I get hold of the commune office. Sorry to sound so thick but it is a new area for us and I'm sure where everything is yet. I need to do this before the 25th March. I got another email from the Agent and he has spoken to the electrician and is making sure that he replies to my letter. Should I get an independant in to be sure before I get a reply?
Thanks and look forward to hearing from you
Swinburne

Coolio 21.02.2008 18:49

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Normally the Geminde would recommend an electrican that would certify all is in order. This electrician has to give a written report to the Geminde that all is OK.I know this to be the case because they came around to do the inspection in my house and were not happy with what they saw. The Builder was responsible to rectify the problem and I received confirmation from the geminde that all was in order. If the electrician that you choose to use does not do a satisfactory job you will end up paying twice. Ask at your local Geminde for an electrician whom they could recommend. You should give a call to your local Geminde and ask if they will accept a letter from the electrican stating that all was in order. Just to cover yourself. Remember if you part with your money and the work is not up to snuff you are stuck with paying someone else to make sure that it is in order. Get your agents to make these calls for you and to follow up.

Rahip 21.02.2008 19:11

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi swinburne

things became a little more complicated recently. So far it was the business of your local energy supplier to do the big checks every 20 years.

Now you as the owner are responsible to get this done. You have to find a qualified electrician to do the work. However usually the energy supplier keeps offering this since they have the resources anyway, you can choose someone else if you like.

Ask the electrician for the "Sicherheitsnachweis Elektroinstallationen", he should send you a standard form declaring that he checked for earth faults, function of devices and so on. Keep this for the next twenty years.

Also make sure the ground fault circuit interrupters are up to date. I live in a flat where only bathroom and kitchen are protected, for kids especially this is unacceptable. Totally legal though as long as it's an existing wiring. As long as you don't use an electric welder at home 10mA fault current is advisable.

Rahip

sanddancer 21.02.2008 20:00

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
hi swinburne we just had to have ours done it came from the power supplier and it was up to us to find a approved firm to carry out the work then a certificate is given when the power supplier has checked it all and that is kept on record with the house so there should be no problems.

J_T 21.02.2008 20:17

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Try contacting through here:

http://www.chalais.ch/commune/chalai...au-public.html

swinburne 21.02.2008 20:48

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Thank you for that I was looking at that website and wasn't quite sure where to go

J_T 21.02.2008 20:58

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
The building authorities are called "le secrétariat cantonal des constructions et police des constructions". Maybe the following page is the right one, though I'm sure someone there will steer you in the right direction.

http://www.chalais.ch/commune/chalai...tructions.html

Snoopy 21.02.2008 23:11

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
http://www.esti.admin.ch/de/aktuell_verzeichnis.htm

That is the link to a directory of people/companies authorised to carry out the inspection. The ESTI website gives more information about what these checks are. The directory is available in German, French and Italian. Although the EST site also has pages in English the directory isn't, but it is not that difficult to figure out.

swinburne 21.02.2008 23:49

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi Everybody
I can't believe how kind and helpful everybody has been about this subject, Your advice had been very useful. I have emailed the commune and asked if a letter from the electrician will be enough proof that the house is electrically legal or do I have the get an independant in to check aswell. I will let you know the outcome as soon as I get a reply.
Thanks so much again
Swinburne

miniMia 22.02.2008 02:10

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by swinburne (Post 177243)
Hi Everybody
I can't believe how kind and helpful everybody has been about this subject, Your advice had been very useful. I have emailed the commune and asked if a letter from the electrician will be enough proof that the house is electrically legal or do I have the get an independant in to check aswell. I will let you know the outcome as soon as I get a reply.
Thanks so much again
Swinburne


An electrician that is certified to do these inspections is what you need. So when you say "can the electrician do it" vs "should an independent do it" your are sort of missing the point. Generally they are independent electricians who have been certified to do the inspection.

For example, we bought our house from an electrician. Not that I would want him to do the inspection, but even if I did ask him to do it, he couldn't as he hasn't been certified to do so.

Hope that makes sense.

Natasha 22.02.2008 02:15

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lob (Post 177100)
the local commune should be able to recommend an indepentent person to verify everything; I had on a newbuild some guy come around and stick his bits into my sockets.

He survived, I passed.

Another option is the local electricity supplier.

Sheeesh. You would not want to take that out of context would you :msnshock:

swinburne 22.02.2008 09:27

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi Everybody again,
I think I am going to email the Notaire today. To date what has happened is that the owner has appointed a local electrician, he had done the work that is needed but I can't see that he is registered to do the inspection. The Agent has asked me to get proof that the work has been done by writing a letter to the electrician myself. Really the owner should be producing the proof, I should not have to try an find it myself. The Owner is a Belgian so he might not know the form.
I am going to ask the Notaire that we want an official inspection from a registered electrician and we want to see the cert before we hand over any money.
I think what was going to happen was the Owner was going to say he has done the work and that we take him on his word. This is not enough for us so thank you everybody for your comments and advice, you have set me on the right track.
Thanks
Swinburne

J_T 22.02.2008 10:59

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
As far as I know, certain DIY and unlicensed electrical work is illegal, unless approved by a licensed electrician. Further, should you have an electrical fire or other electrical incident, your insurance might give you a hard time if the electrical installation and work weren't according to the building code.

The "police des constructions" or "Baupolizei" police construction and alteration work and can have improper, unlicenced work torn out and done properly, at the same time they can tell you who is licensed and who is not, if you have the name of the electrician.

Sorry to harp, but I have had a few experiences myself and helped a few others too, so "beware of bargains on electricians, dentists and parachutes".

Maybe you can find some help here: http://www.electrosuisse.ch/cms.cfm/s_page/69840

swinburne 22.02.2008 12:06

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Thank you for that, I worry because I do not totally trust the owner and he is bound to get the bare minimum done before he hands over the house. I do not know the electrician that he used, but I know he was local and I have checked to see if he is on the register for the approved electrical inspectors and he isn't. I am sure the Owner just wants us to take his word for it that everything is OK. Before we signed the Acte the Agent knew the electrics were dodgey in the Chalet so he made sure that a clause was written in the acte that the electrics had to of legal standard before we took on the Chalet. This I presume means that if it isn't done by the 1st April we could get out of the agreement or hold money back until it is done.
I have emailed the Notaire telling him that we want an independant inspection done and given him the url of the registered electricians in the area. I will let you know what they say when they get back to me.
Thanks again for you help
Swinburne

miniMia 22.02.2008 12:38

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by swinburne (Post 177417)
Thank you for that, I worry because I do not totally trust the owner and he is bound to get the bare minimum done before he hands over the house. I do not know the electrician that he used, but I know he was local and I have checked to see if he is on the register for the approved electrical inspectors and he isn't. I am sure the Owner just wants us to take his word for it that everything is OK. Before we signed the Acte the Agent knew the electrics were dodgey in the Chalet so he made sure that a clause was written in the acte that the electrics had to of legal standard before we took on the Chalet. This I presume means that if it isn't done by the 1st April we could get out of the agreement or hold money back until it is done.
I have emailed the Notaire telling him that we want an independant inspection done and given him the url of the registered electricians in the area. I will let you know what they say when they get back to me.
Thanks again for you help
Swinburne

I wouldn't get the same person who did the work to inspect the work. Like I said before, the previous owner of our house was an electrician, but there were still some little things that need to be fixed.

Rahip 22.02.2008 18:13

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Now I'm understanding the confusion. You have this in the contract, this is not a mandatory safety inspection.

Get the owner to hire somebody on the list to check it. Maybe tell him otherwise you're having it done at his cost. Somehow he has to proof that the work has been properly done.

Rahip


P.s. Even if you have to pay it on your own first this is a small thing. About one hour of work should be around 200.-sFr depending on the distance to the electrician. Then you have proof and he has to fix it..

swinburne 22.02.2008 20:11

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi
I have just had a reply from the Commune and this is what they said, it was in French but I used Google translate
Hello,

'The seller is responsible to carry out the inspection of the electrical installation. Indeed, it is mandatory to obtain a certificate of a licensed electrician for your records.

You can submit this certification to control if desired. The information comes from our Vice President who made those checks in his professional setting. '

I have emailed the Notaire and he emailed me back saying we will have an official inspection and he isn't going to hand over any money unless we are happy, eg got the certificate.
We are getting there, thanks everybody
Swinburne

J_T 22.02.2008 20:32

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Congratulations!

Snoopy 24.02.2008 10:14

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
The actual law is that houses must have their electrics checked every twenty years. However, if a house is being sold and it has not been checked within the past 5 years it must be checked again. There is no stipulation as far as I could make out that the seller must pay, although that certainly sounds like the most sensible course of action.

The law itself is called:

Ordonnance du 7 novembre 2001 sur les installations électriques à basse tension (Ordonnance sur les installations à basse tension, OIBT)

and the reference number is: 734.27

Can be looked at here:

http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/rs/c734_27.html

swinburne 08.03.2008 22:23

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi
I was the one that posted the original thread here. The next installment is that I have heard from the electrician who has made the repairs to the Chalet. He has sent me a letter in french telling me what work he has carried out. There is also an official looking document which is the 'Rapport de scurite de l'installation eletrique (RS)'. I think this looks like the right document that we need. One question I do have is that when I looked at the list of registered electricians to carry out this work in the area I could not find him. I know that he is well respected and seems to carry out all the electrics in the village, he is mentioned on the Commune website. The original owner employed him to carry out the work and he was paid by the orginal owner. Do you think we will be OK or should be get a second opinion or do you think I am being a bit picky. look forward to hearing from you soon
Swinburne

swinburne 08.03.2008 22:28

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi
I was the one that posted the original thread here. The next installment is that I have heard from the electrician who has made the repairs to the Chalet. He has sent me a letter in french telling me what work he has carried out. There is also an official looking document which is the 'Rapport de scurite de l'installation eletrique (RS)'. I think this looks like the right document that we need. One question I do have is that when I looked at the list of registered electricians to carry out this work in the area I could not find him. I know that he is well respected and seems to carry out all the electrics in the village, he is mentioned on the Commune website. The original owner employed him to carry out the work and he was paid by the orginal owner. Do you think we will be OK or should be get a second opinion or do you think I am being a bit picky. look forward to hearing from you soon
Swinburne

J_T 08.03.2008 22:40

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
I would say if the electrician proclaimed the house to be correctly wired according to the building code, he most likely has the license to do that, and in any case, he has to warranty the work and the report. I also don't think the Commune would list some unlicensed handyman in that capacity.

Snoopy 08.03.2008 22:47

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
In the Valais everything is a little mafia-like isn't it? :)
The guy may not be officially on the list, but he may be acceptable as far as the local authorities are concerned, well unoffically anyway.

How many electricians are there in Vercorin anyway? I noticed that there is one guy in Vercorin who is eligible to check installations. It wasn't him that did it?

But if you need to be sure the best place to ask is your power (electricity) provider. I believe that they are responsible for enforcing the law.

Otherwise my advice is lay doggo and hope that the paper is good enough:)

swinburne 08.03.2008 23:11

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
It's the Mafia that I worry about! That is why I am being cautious and dotting the i's and crossing the t's. The Electrician that was used was M.Main from down the valley. I have written to the electric company to tell them that we are taking over the electrics on the 1st April, should I write again and ask them to inspect the Chalet before the 1st April, we are running short of time now.
Thanks

Snoopy 08.03.2008 23:20

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Ok Swinburne, the guy who is authorised to do the job in Vercorin is called Pascal Main. Is it the same company? Did he rubber stamp the certificate?

If you want me to take a look at the certificate he gave you and give you my opinion as to its validity I am happy to do so. PM me and I will give you an e-mail address to send it to.

swinburne 08.03.2008 23:44

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Hi Snoopy
I was just typing you a reply and suddenly it was sent and I hadn't finished writing. Everything seems to be solved now as it was the same electrician. Thank you for your help!!! How do you know Vercorin, do you live near there?
Can't wait to come in April but I have a lot to sort out, moving etc with husband and 2 little boys, they aren't interested in moving furniture. I know I have to do an IKEA trip and I know that is going to be a nightmare. I am coming out again in May to tie up loose ends with my 82 year old Dad.
Thank you so much again

Snoopy 08.03.2008 23:50

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
It's my pleasure! After all, that's what this place is all about! :)

My family had a chalet in the Valais for a while and I did many years of army service in the area, so I know the region pretty well. It has to be one of my favourite parts of Switzerland. The locals are not easy to get to know, but once you do, they are really very warm people.

Good luck with the move and if there is anything else that I can be of help with (except moving furniture and IKEA....my wife does that :) ), just holler.....

J_T 09.03.2008 00:54

Re: Proof of safe electrics before we buy house
 
Whew! Glad that worked out!


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