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Frequently Asked Questions
In preparation for an upcoming apartment building inspection the property should be as accessible as possible. Ensuring locked areas are open, obstructions moved and pets secured. If there are common areas like rooftop or sub floor areas that are to be inspected the building manager may need to be consulted to provide access.
Under the Australian Standard AS 4349.1 the inspection is a visual inspection of all accessible areas and includes an evaluation of all structural, maintenance, safety and compliance issues. When complete the building inspector will provide a report detailing findings, why they are a concern, where in the property the issue is and what will happen if the issue is not addressed.
The most common defects found in a building inspection are:
• Leaking showers where the waterproofing membrane has failed.
• Drainage where external surface areas do not slope away from the building.
• Termite issues where termites have entered the building and damaged the structural timber frame.
Pre-purchase property inspections are a visual inspection of accessible areas of the property, however there may be areas of the property not accessible due to height or size restrictions. These areas could be the top of roofs, opens to roof voids and under floors. In general, a building inspector will identify any items that appear defective or require rectification. If the building inspector has a concern with the electrical or plumbing it will be noted in the report and it will be recommended that these items be further evaluated by an electrician or plumber.
When a home building inspection reveals defects or repairs that will be required it is a wise to discuss these repairs with the agent or vendor before committing to the purchase, ideally before signing or within the cooling-off period. This enables defects or repairs to be rectified or completed before contract settlement. In some cases, the vendor may opt to reduce the contract price in lieu of repairing the property.
Mould when found during a building inspection is an indication of any number of building defects and environmental issues. Although a building inspector is not qualified to assess the type of mould in the building it should be possible to determine the cause of mould. In most cases mould is caused by a long-term damp problem and can be rectified by removing the water ingress