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Pre–purchase property inspections - Sydney Inspection guidelines

Are you in need of a property inspection? Sydney homebuyers require a pre purchase property inspection report that is also known as the building inspection report. Its main purpose is to provide an expert’s view of the condition of the property before one buys a property. It is not intended to be used as a certificate of compliance for any law, warranty or insurance policy against future problems.

A pre–purchase property inspection report:

  • is a written account of the condition of a property
  • will tell you about any significant building defects or problems such as rising damp, movement in the walls (cracking), safety hazards or a faulty roof to name a few, so as you are forewarned,
  • is usually carried out before you exchange sale contracts so you can identify any problems with the property which, if left unchecked, could prove costly to repair,
  • should identify any visual damage that may have been caused by termites, it usually won't include the existence of termites or other timber destroying pests,
  • will provide information so as you can try to negotiate a lower price for the property
  • may provide specialist advice about any major problems and how they will affect the property over time.

Your solicitor may advise other considerations as well as the building inspection report before buying a property.

You should always use a suitably qualified person, such as a licensed builder with Professional Indemnity Insurance, to provide a professional building inspection report of the property you are thinking of buying. A professional person will ensure that the format and content of the report complies with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1).

The format and amount of detail in the report will depend on the type of property, its size and age, its condition and the reporting process used by the consultant or organisation preparing the report. These factors will also influence the cost of the report.

A building inspection report may adopt a standard format and be individually tailored for each property. Photographs may be included. A building inspection report should include enough information for you to be aware of the property's condition and identify any significant problems. However, a standard building inspection report is generally a visual inspection only and may not identify major structural defects or other hidden problems. If you have concerns about such problems, you might consider obtaining an additional assessment of the property from a suitably accredited specialist, eg. Solicitor, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, surveyor, pest inspector, water supply authority and electricity supply authority.

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