WHEN purchasing a property, there is usually a clause in the sale agreement requiring the seller to certify that the property in question is free from wood-destroying insects by means of an Entomologist certificate. The Entomologist certificate is also sometimes referred to as a pest or beetle certificate which must be issued by an entomologist registered with the South African Pest Control Association. The certificate is not a statutory requirement but, over the years it has evolved into somewhat of a standard practice. Parties to a property sale agreement can elect to contract out of this requirement but insurance companies and financial institutions usually require this certificate as a condition for the granting of finance or insurance cover for the property.The seller is typically responsible for obtaining the certificate as well as paying all costs for the certificate and work to be done should any infestation be found. The parties may however agree in the sale agreement that the certificate is not a requirement for the sale. In such a case and should the financial institution or insurance company require it for the purchaser’s bond or insurance cover, then the purchaser should be responsible for the cost of certificate.The certificate does not cover pest control, normal degradation of wood or swelling of wood due to moisture. It only certifies that the property is free from insects that destroy or bore through wooden structures. The entomologist will inspect the property and issue the certificate if no infestation is found. If there is an infestation, the entomologist will submit a quotation for work to be performed and once the problem is eradicated they will issue the certificate. The certificate is only valid for 3 months.—Supplied.