With recent stories in the media of desperate buyers failing to undertake important checks when purchasing a property, we felt it was a good opportunity to reiterate our strong recommendation of ensuring first home buyers get a building inspection prior to committing to a purchase.
With that is mind we got David Clifton from Home Buyers Reports to help answer:
Who is ‘suitably qualified’ to inspect?
Since the introduction of a more robust due diligence requirement to the latest Sales and Purchase agreement, prospective purchasers now require a ‘suitably qualified building inspector’ to undertake their property inspection.
The industry has experienced an explosion of inspection companies and service providers, but are they all working in accordance with accepted principles and methods? It appears not, but professionals within the market are now starting to get to grips with the differences between inspectors, their qualifications, and their ability to provide full and comprehensive reports.
In addition Banks are no longer accepting reports from builders and non-professional companies or reports that are scant on detail using only tick boxes and lacking in costing’s of repair.
So what do you look for when searching for a property inspection company – below should help.
1. Are they independent?
Let’s start with the key factor, are they independent i.e. try to avoid family and friends. They have the best of intentions but they also want you to be happy. This emotional link can be a problem as it can cloud judgment or stop them saying what they think.
2. Are they experienced?
The next big factor is experience. For many years New Zealand has relied on the local builder to give the property the once over. Their knowledge is normally good around the particular aspect of their trade, such as; carpenter, electrician, plumber, roofer. However if you ask a plumber to look at the cladding or roofer to look at the electrics they will have only a basic knowledge about what the possible problems are and the potential risk and costs in the future.
3. Are they providing a comprehensive report?
It is essential for an inspector to undertake not just a review of the building but also LIM and Title. These documents provide context of what is being inspected and also are a glimpse into the history of the property and its current format. Your inspector should be able to determine land and environmental risks of the property as well as the risk of un-consented works. Also a comprehensive report must contain costs and timing of repairs. This is essential for you to understand your (and the banks) total financial commitment to the property and its upkeep.
4 . Are they insured?
The final big hurdle is the level of protection that the inspection provider can offer.
Most members of your family and builders do not have Professional Indemnity Insurance (the insurance that covers them if their advice is wrong). In this scenario you would have to re-claim damages or costs from them personally… not good for the family relations and possibly ineffective against a builder.
5 . Are they qualified?
So if you apply these simple filters you should end up with professional bodies like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NZIBS). Members of the RICS and the NZIBS (both of which are respected institutions) professionally test their members for competency and provide continued professional development. These organisations have membership lists, codes of conduct and best practice that will provide quality, experience and protection to you during the sale and purchase process.
HomeBuyers Reports Ltd can provide you with peace of mind through our clear and comprehensive property information reports that will enable you to make the right decision during the sale and purchase process.
HomeBuyers Reports are independent chartered building surveyors and specialists in professional pre-purchase and pre-sale inspections and reports for residential property owners. Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors, we have held professional indemnity insurance from the start.