Building inspections

If you think you’ve found the perfect home you’ve been looking for, but you’re not sure if the 100-year-old building will last another 100 years, then you may want to get a building inspection and report before you buy.

You can actually make your offer subject to a building inspection for any property, and many vendors will agree to that. It is, of course, dependent on the individual vendor and the level of interest in the property will also likely be a factor. For example, a vendor might receive your offer subject to a building inspection, and another offer for the same price but with no conditions attached.

A building inspection will result in a report that identifies any structural and non-structural defects. Is there termite damage? Is the brick wall in danger of falling down? And the list goes on. It may also report on any general maintenance works categorised as either urgent or to be done in the next number of years.

When you include a building inspection special condition in your contract, you must clearly identify the circumstances in which you’ll be allowed to terminate the contract. If your right to terminate is limited to circumstances only where structural defects are identified, then you will not be able to terminate the contract if you’re unhappy about any number of non-structural defects, or if the ongoing maintenance of the building appears to you to be excessive or likely to be costly.

It’s really important that you explain your needs clearly to your lawyer so that an appropriate special condition can be put into the contract. You’ll also want to be sure to tell your building inspector any special requirements you want investigated.

We deal with these special conditions all the time, so if you have any questions about making an offer on a property conditional on a building inspection, don’t hesitate to get in touch through our Advice Centre.