There are several things to consider before buying a house like choosing your location, deciding how many bedrooms you want and setting your budget. Home Inspections are also a high priority but unfortunately the industry is somewhat flooded with inspection companies that only perform half the job, or do so illegally and so there are some things to consider before booking your property inspection.
Follow these tips when deciding which company will conduct your home inspection:
UNLICENSED BUILDING INSPECTORS
As of the 1st January 2001, all building inspectors must be licensed with the Building Services Authority. We would strongly recommend insisting that the building inspector show you his licence on site to ensure that it is current and up to date. Action Property Inspections is professionally accredited and insured QBSA Master Builder, Licensed Building Inspector and member of Institute of Building Consultants.
Beware of building inspectors who sell structural based reports. These reports do not comply with the Australian Standards and unlike their name suggests, do not guarantee the structural integrity of the building inspected. Inspectors who offer so-called structural based reports do so to maintain relationships with the estate agents that refer them. They often ensure that houses they inspect are given a relatively clean bill of health, with potentially costly faults being understated, so as not to jeopardise the sale. Only a detailed Full Defect Report will provide you with an unbiased opinion as to the true condition of the property you are purchasing. Action Property Inspections provide you with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The majority of clients are referred directly from previous customers and never from estate agents. Our pre-purchase building inspection reports comply with and exceed Australian Standard 4349.1 2007 Inspection of Buildings Part 1: Pre-Purchase Inspections; Residential Buildings.
COMBINED BUILDING AND PEST INSPECTIONS
Be wary of any inspector combining building and pest inspections in the one report. Firstly, it is always more practical and thorough to have two people inspect your property to ensure all faults are detected. Secondly, the building and pest inspection processes are very different. You should not accept a compromise on one of these inspections for what will most likely be the biggest investment of your life.
The Australian Standard stipulates that the pest report is classified as a “special purpose report” and a specialised report separate to that of the building report must be produced. Therefore, it is our opinion that two separate inspectors should always be used.
Action Property Inspections can provide a list of completely independent, highly qualified and reputable pest inspection companies to complete your pest inspection. To remove the hassle of having to contact two separate companies Action Property Inspections can contact your choice of pest inspector and complete the booking process on your behalf, this will ensure the two inspections can be booked for the same time. Our list of trusted pest inspection companies all have the highest possible qualifications and the most up-to-date equipment eg. moisture meters, borer scopes, thermal image cameras and Terma-Trac etc.
If you would prefer to use a pest inspector that you already know and trust, they are also more than welcome to undertake their inspection at the same time as we undertake our building inspection or at any other time within the pest inspection clause indicated within your contract. The choice is entirely yours.
INSPECTORS THAT DON’T GAIN ACCESS TO THE ROOF
Most inspection companies adopt a policy that recommend a building inspector should not access any roof area higher than 3.6 meters. Wherever possible Action Property Inspections will physically inspect the exterior of a roof including single storey and two storey dwellings, provided it is safe to do so and the site and prevailing weather conditions allow. A risk assessment evaluation is undertaken at every inspection to establish whether safe roof access can be obtained.
BUILDING INSPECTION AGREEMENT
Under the new legislation, to comply with the new “Australian Standard AS 4349.1 – 2007 Inspection of Buildings Part 1: Pre-purchase inspections – Residential buildings”, an inspection agreement between the client and inspector must be entered into prior to the inspection taking place. This agreement will outline the scope and limitations of the inspection, along with client details, cost of the inspection and definitions. Any company not providing this agreement before the inspection is not complying with the Australian Standard 4349.1 – 2007 and this may affect their insurance.
REPORTS ARRANGED BY AGENT
You need to use caution when the house inspection report is arranged by the agent or vendor, as these reports may be biased. The owner or estate agent are less likely to point out flaws as this will hinder a sale. If a building inspection company has not been appointed by you, the inspector may not be liable to you. We would recommend seeking legal advice, or simply selecting an inspection company independent from the vendor and estate agent.
Action Property Inspections is totally independent from estate agents. Our pre-purchase building inspection reports are completely confidential and impartial.
PROPRIETOR VERSUS EMPLOYEE INSPECTORS
Most inspection companies will hire employees or sub-contractors to undertake actual building inspections. This could be to accommodate an increasing work load or tight time frames but may also be to deflect the responsibility of an unsatisfactory building report. Should a claim arise, tracking down a contractor or employee to obtain restitution could be extremely difficult. An employee has no real vested interest in the company’s reputation and is subsequently less likely to go that extra step to ensure a quality house inspection. Action Property Inspections will guarantee the owner of the company will be personally conducting your building inspection. As the proprietor of the business it is the company’s reputation and license on the line.
UNINSURED BUILDING INSPECTORS
Currently only 50% of the home inspection industry is insured. The Building Services Authority Act requires that all building inspectors must carry professional indemnity insurance. However, a BSA exemption may be granted if it is deemed to be too expensive for the company to obtain insurance or if the company is unable to obtain an insurance policy, if for example they have too many previous claims. Professional indemnity insurance is a safety net providing protection for both the building inspector and his clients, should a claim arise. Action Property Inspections has never had a claim made against them because of the quality and accuracy of the inspection reports. It is strongly advised that you ask your home inspector to produce a certificate of currency showing their professional indemnity insurance.