As Building Inspectors in Perth completing structural inspections every day, we get asked all the time by Home Buyers…

“The seller has to fix all these defects listed on the report, is that right?” 

It’s important to understand there are generally three distinct stages of building inspections in Western Australia during the sales process.

  1. The Structural Building Inspection,
  2. The Timber Pest Inspection
  3. The Pre-Settlement Building Inspection

In addition to this, the Buyer is also entitled to a Final/Pre-Settlement Inspection which is done a few days prior to settlement.

In this blog we are going to shed some light on the first inspection – The Structural Building Inspection.

In Western Australia the most commonly used Annexure when a buyer says “I’d like to have a building inspection carried out please”, is the REIWA Australian Standard Pre-Purchase Structural Inspection Condition. Many Real Estate Agencies have their own annexure which can be different to the REIWA one. But all the Non-REIWA annexures have a similar theme. They are all concerned with structural defects.

Building inspections when broken down into their purest form, are simply recording the condition of building elements at a particular time. Both the REIWA and most other annexures ask the inspector to complete the inspection in accordance with the Australian Standard 4349.1-2007 Pre-Purchase Building Inspections. The Standard is a guide and basically has 4 appendices (A) through to (D) which the report can be written in line with.

(A) Refers to inspections and reports carried out on the structural elements only.

(B) Refers to Strata and common property.

(C) Refers to almost all other building elements and

(D) refers to the building elements that should not form part of the inspection and report.

This all sounds pretty simple right? Or does it? There are many Building Inspection companies offering all types of inspections which include sections A, some parts of C and even D ? Prices can vary dramatically, along with the scope of what they are including or sometimes not including in their inspections, and this is where clarity is needed.

You can pay a building inspector a tonne of money to inspect the entire house from then sub-floor to the very top roof tile, produce a detailed 85 page report only to find contractually, the seller may not be obligated to fix anything. So why is this? Because almost all Building Condition Annexures are of a Structural nature and require the seller to “make good” or compensate for the structural defects only.

We come across defects both structural and non-structural all the time during our inspections. We have found most structural defects occur in the Roof Void and are in relation to the roof or ceiling frame. Most of the time, these defects are easily repaired. While non-structural defects can be in relation to a leaking shower, cracked roof tile or rusted gutter just to name a few.

We have found most home buyers are generally accepting that their second-hand home will come with a few non-structural maintenance items, but if there is an area of concern you would like inspected, the Real Estate agent needs to know about it. They will be able to insert a special condition into the contact. If there is no special condition agreed to, the seller is not contractually obligated to fix it.

Home Integrity offers inspections to satisfy all buyers. From the essential Structural Building and Termite Inspections to the comprehensive Structural Premium, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas in good working order and Swimming Pools and Safety Barriers inspections. Some agents are scared when we get in touch to book in the additional inspections – not because there may be something to hide, but because it means that they have a savvy Buyer on their hands.

Booking any of the additional inspections shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. The team at Home Integrity found it necessary to build these inspections into their offering to ensure Buyers have no surprises when they buy a property and the best way to ensure this is to employ a professional!

So if you would like absolute clarity and the confidence to move, book a report from Home Integrity now!