The importance of getting a property inspected for building defects and/or pests was profoundly illustrated with a recent property report we received for a property we were considering on behalf of a client. The Property and Timber Pest Report we obtained for this house revealed a number of defects – as well as the possibility of further substantial damage due to the presence of pests.
When it comes to buying a home, it’s essential to recognise that you’re responsible for much of what takes place. Once the transfer of ownership is complete, you’re often liable for any pre-existing defects, including illegal alterations to the property.
As Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) outlines on its Contracts and DIsclosure Statements webpage, sellers must provide prospective buyers with a due diligence checklist and a Section 32 statement. However, this requirement leaves a lot of the hard work up to the buyer. Ensuring that a property is structurally sound and in good condition involves the input of qualified experts.
What you should be looking for when you inspect a property is summarised on the Inspect Properties Before You Buy webpage of the CAV website. Take time to read the advice on this page, because
the recommendations it makes could save you from costly oversights.
In any situation where you’re buying property, the cost of getting a professional building and pest inspection can easily be justified by the potential costs of not getting one. It’s a pivotal step when doing your due diligence as a buyer.
Which brings us back to the story of the property we were considering…
The qualified professionals that we chose to provide us with a building and pest inspection saved us from proceeding any further with this property. Among several issues identified in the report, we discovered:
- evidence of termite activity and damage (they were literally nesting in the roof cavity!)
- evidence of conditions conducive to a timber pest attack
- drainage issues throughout the property raising the possibility of damp and/or mould concerns
The above matters were sufficient to persuade us to abandon any further consideration of purchasing this property.
Getting independent and reliable information about the condition of a property is largely the responsibility of the buyer and we hope that the above example clearly shows why it’s so vitally important.
To locate a registered building practitioner within your area, visit the Victorian Building Authority’s Practitioner Search page. Alternatively, we have trusted professionals with whom we have developed relationships with over the years and can save you “guessing” who to
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