After many years within the building and pest industry, we have been asked nearly every question imaginable about a building and pest inspection.
Most often, these questions are asked by first homebuyers and rightly so. If you’re new to the property market, it’s unlikely that you have ever needed to organize a building and pest inspection.
In this blog, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the building and pest inspection process.
Who pays for a Pre-Purchase Building and Pest Inspection in Queensland? And who organises it?
Generally, the prospective buyer organises and pays for the building and pest inspection. At times, there can be multiple parties involved in the building and pest inspection process such as the selling agent or tenants. At Dedant, we take care of the entire booking process for you and liaise with all parties involved to ensure the inspection can go ahead smoothly.
Can I use a building and pest report that the seller or real estate agent gives me?
Occasionally, a seller may have an existing building and pest report available. However, it is essential to get your own building and pest report completed. This ensures you have an unbiased report that has been completed with your best interests taken into consideration. Likewise, a report is required to be issued in the name of the person purchasing the property so that they can rely on this report for the future. If there is are any defects or timber pest infestation found in the property in the future, and this should have been uncovered at the building and pest inspection, the new property owner will not have any legal recourse unless they have the official building and pest report that was issued in their name.
If a Dedant Building and Pest report has been completed for the seller, for a fee the buyer can have this changed into their name before the purchase. This can only be done if the report is less than 4 weeks old.
Is a Building and Pest Inspection compulsory?
Typically, yes. A building and pest inspection is usually a condition of purchase outlined in the contract of sale. This means you are purchasing the property subject to a building and pest inspection. The purpose of this clause is to protect you as buyer to ensure you are fully aware of the condition of the property prior to purchase.
As you can imagine, buyers could easily be caught out believing that their new home is in great condition only to move in and find the place infested by termites. In the past, this has been an unfortunate reality for some buyers when they haven’t done their due diligence in getting a building and pest inspection.
In addition, a building and pest report can give the buyer negotiation power if the building has defects that need to be rectified. The buyer can usually negotiate to have the repairs undertaken by the vendor or have a discount on the sale price based on the fact that the repairs need to be undertaken.
What is a Building and Pest Inspection? How long is it valid for?
A building and pest inspection is a comprehensive visual inspection of a property for building defects and timber pest activity.
The inspection is completed in two parts to include both the building report and the pest inspection. The building inspection is a visual appraisal of the condition of the property, highlighting any major and minor defects and safety hazards. Likewise, the pest inspection is a visual inspection of the property to see if there is any evidence of active termites or previous termite damage.
During the inspection, the house will be checked with a thermal imaging camera and moisture meter to detect conditions in the home that are conducive to termite activity.
All accessible areas of the property are checked including garages, carports, fences and retaining walls, provided they are within 30meters of the house. The roof void and subfloor will also be checked if it is safe for the inspector to do so.
Since termites could move into the property without warning within weeks after an inspection, the report itself is only valid for 4 weeks. Likewise, damage from storms or other factors could be caused to the property any time after an inspection.
What isn’t checked during a Building and Pest Inspection?
There are items that cannot be checked during a building and pest inspection as they are not within the inspector’s area of expertise, such as:
- Home appliances – dishwashers, air conditioning units, range hoods, ovens or heaters.
- Other accessories – CCTV and alarm systems, smoke detectors, power points, garden irrigation systems and so on.
- Toxic and hazardous substances – asbestos, mould or meth contamination. The report will note whether the house is likely to contain any of these hazardous materials like asbestos. However, further investigation and testing will need to be conducted to confirm levels of contamination or whether the suspected material is asbestos.
- Natural disasters – the building report will not include comment about the likelihood of the area flooding or experiencing erosion.
If you do need any of the above checked, it is recommended that you hire the relative tradesperson such as a plumber or electrician.
How long does it take? Am I allowed to attend the inspection?
The inspection itself typically takes an hour and a half to complete, depending on the size of the property. The report will be electronically delivered to you within 24 hours.
If possible, we recommend that you attend the inspection so you can observe the inspector’s findings and ask them any questions on the spot. Alternatively, the inspector can call you afterward to discuss their findings.
How much does a Building and Pest Inspection cost?
The cost of a building and pest inspection is dependent on the size and location of the property. Inspections for apartments and units start from $320 including GST. Whereas inspections for detached houses with 2+ bedrooms start from $420 including GST.
If the property you’re purchasing has an additional granny flat or is located on an island, there is likely to be additional costs. This is due to the extra time needed to inspect the additional living space and/or associated travel costs.
Who does the Building and Pest Inspection?
The building and pest inspection must be carried out by a qualified inspector. At DedAnt, all our inspectors have many years’ experience within the building industry and are fully insured and qualified. They must hold a QBCC license, have over 5 years’ experience in construction and have completed further study to become a building inspector. To complete the pest inspections, the inspector must have qualification in QLD as a Pest Technician with timber pest management.
What happens after the Building and Pest Inspection?
After the building and pest inspection, an easy-to-read report will be sent to you electronically within 24 hours. The report also includes the inspector’s phone number, so you can ring them directly to ask any questions.
Once you have the report, it is your responsibility to read through it thoroughly. The report is designed for you to be able to make an informed decision about whether you would like to go ahead with the purchase of the property, based on the findings. From the report, you may also decide to negotiate a new buying price.
Building and pest inspection reports are in accordance with current Australian Standards, recognised by real estate agents and lawyers. For buyers, this means that should you need to exit the contract of sale, based on the findings of the building and pest inspection report, you may do so.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to go ahead with the purchase of the property rests with the buyer.