House Inspection. Sydney-Wide Guidelines.
The consultant may inspect all accessible parts of the property. These may include the following areas:
- interior and exterior of the building,
- roof space,
- under-floor space,
You may also ask that a particular part of the property, or certain items, also be inspected, such as:
- visible signs of asbestos problems
- existence of an operable electrical safety switch
- existence of smoke alarms.
The following may be included in a building inspection report:
- garage, carport and garden shed
- separate laundry or toilet
- surface water drainage
- stormwater run-off
- small retaining walls (i.e. non–structural)
- paths and driveways.
Specify any particular items problems or areas that you want inspected. The report should also include the
- your name,
- the date of inspection,
- the address of the property to be inspected,
- weather and temperature,
- reason and scope for the inspection,
- a list of any area or item that wasn’t inspected, the reasons why it wasn’t inspected and if necessary, a
recommendation for further investigation,
- a summary of the overall condition of the property considering its age and type,
- a list of any significant problems that need fixing,
- if necessary, a recommendation that a further inspection or assessment be carried out by a suitably
accredited specialist, e.g. solicitor, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, surveyor, pest inspector,
water supply authority and electricity supply authority.
A building inspection report will not include:
- parts of the property that were not or could not be inspected
- matters outside the consultant’s expertise
- an estimate of repair costs
- minor defects
- termite detection.
A building inspection report is a reasonable attempt to identify any major problems that are visible at the time
of the inspection dependant on the age and type of property and not an all-encompassing report dealing with every
aspect of the property.
While the report will give you valuable expert advice, it will not cover everything. The consultant cannot check
or comment on the following:
- electrical wiring and smoke detectors,
- plumbing, drainage and gasfitting,
- air conditioning,
- paint coatings,
- concealed damp-proofing,
- swimming pools and pool equipment,
- fireplaces and chimneys,
- watering systems,
- alarm and intercom systems,
- carpet and lino,
- appliances such as dishwashers, insinkerators, ovens, ducted vacuum systems, hot plates and range
- television reception,
- every opening window,
- leaks, dampness and other problems if services, such as water or showers have not been used for some
- location of fencing in relation to boundaries, as this needs to be done by a registered surveyor,
- all law–related matters which are dealt with by a conveyancer or solicitor .
With strata scheme and company title properties, the consultant will normally only inspect and assess the
condition of immediate exterior and the interior of a particular unit you are thinking of buying. Inspection of
common property areas or Strata searches are ‘special–purpose’ property reports.
Most properties will have minor defects such as cracking, blemishes, unevenness, weathering, corrosion, general
deterioration, and physical damage to materials and finishes. Reports on minor defects and imperfections are
‘special–purpose’ property reports.
Conditions that will affect the final report:
- the information you provide to the consultant,
- problems that are difficult to detect due to weather or other conditions such as rising damp and leaks
- problems that may have been deliberately covered up to make an area appear problem free,
- the specific areas of the consultant’s ‘expertise’ as specified in the report.
A pre purchase property inspection report or building inspection report is not an attempt to estimate the cost
of fixing problems. An estimate of the costs of necessary work is the subject of a ‘special-purpose’ property
report and additional fees
Communicate with the building consultant on what information they normally include in their pre-purchase
property inspection reports and inform the consultant if you require additional information.