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10 August 2021

A guide to building inspections before your purchase

For many Australians, buying property is one of the most significant transactions that they will ever make, which is why it is important to know the condition of the house or unit you are buying before you move into it.  Getting a building and pest inspection may seem like a significant expense at first, but it can save you a lot of money in years or even just weeks down the track.

What does a building and pest inspection involve?  A building inspection involves a thorough visual assessment of the property, including examining the structure and physical condition of the dwelling.  A building inspection can identify repairs required, structural defects and signs of mould, wood rot, and moisture in the property that was unknown to either the agent or the buyer.  A pest inspection further identifies whether there are active termites, previous termite activity and damage, or conditions conductive to a termite infestation.

Before buying a house or unit you should always engage a qualified building and pest inspector to carry out your building and pest inspection.  Building inspectors have the expertise and experience to identify potential problems which a buyer might otherwise miss.  They will also inspect parts of the building to which a buyer often does not pay much attention, such as the roof, ceiling cavity and foundations.

Once a building and pest inspector has completed his or her inspection, the inspector will issue a written report detailing any issues identified, and usually include photographs.

It is recommended that your purchase contract provide that the contract is subject to a building and pest condition.  If your contract is subject to a building and pest condition you will have an avenue to terminate the contract if there are significant defects or the property is infested by termites.  You may choose to try to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price or for the seller to carry out some repairs, rather than terminating the contract.  If you do not have a building and pest inspection condition, then you have to take the property with all defects and lack of repair.

If you need help purchasing property, feel free to contact our firm today. When it comes to protecting your rights in a property transaction, we have your back.

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