To avoid any misunderstanding as to the type of inspection We will carry out and as to the scope of the resulting report. You should immediately read, sign and return the email approval of this agreement to Us. If You fail to return the copy to Us and do not cancel the requested inspection then You agree that this document forms the agreement between You and Us. We will carry out the inspection and report as ordered by You in accordance with this agreement and You agree to pay for the inspection and report on delivery of the report. In ordering the inspection, You agree that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with the following clauses, which define the scope and limitations of the inspection and the report.
SCOPE OF THE BUILDING INSPECTION AND REPORT
PURPOSE OF THE INSPECTION: In residential pre-purchase situations, the building inspection will be carried out in accordance with The Australian Standards under AS4349.1-2007. In residential pre-sale situations and for all other Special Purpose Reports, the building inspection will be carried out in accordance with The Australian Standards under AS4349.0. Except for the defined scope of a Special Purpose Report, the purpose of the inspection is to identify Major Defects and safety hazards associated with the property at the time of the inspection. The inspection and reporting is limited to Appendix C of AS4349.1-2007. See Definitions below for The Australian Standards.
1. INSPECTION CRITERIA -The Report does not include an estimate of the cost for rectification of the defects. The overall condition of the building will be compared to similarly constructed and reasonably maintained buildings of approximately the same age. Areas for inspection shall cover all Safe and Accessible Areas.
2. REPORT DEFINITION - In accordance with The Australian Standards, the inspection shall comprise a visual assessment of the items listed in Appendix C to AS4349.1-2007 for the structures within 30 metres of the building and within the site boundaries including fences. The inspection WILL NOT cover or report on the items listed in Appendix D to AS4349.1-2007. See Definitions below for The Australian Standards.
3. GENERAL AREAS INSPECTED - Subject to Safe and Reasonable Access (See Definitions below) the inspection will normally report on the condition of each of the following areas: – The Interior, The Roof Void, The Exterior, The Sub-Floor & The Roof Exterior.
4. The inspector will report individually on Major Defects and safety hazards evident and visible on the date and time of the inspection. The Report will also provide a general assessment of the property and collectively comment on Minor Defects which would form a normal part of property maintenance.
5. Where a Major Defect has been identified, the inspector will give an opinion as to why it is a Major Defect and specify its location.
SCOPE OF THE PEST INSPECTION AND REPORT
6. The pest inspection will be conducted in accordance with The Australian Standards under AS4349.3-2010 Inspection of Buildings Part 3: Timber pest inspections. The purpose of the pest inspection is to provide advice about the condition of the property concerning timber pest activity as outlined in the Scope of this Agreement.
7. In the case of pre-purchase timber pest inspections or timber pest inspections in accordance with AS 4349.3-2010, the inspection and resulting Report will be confined to reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused by subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants), borers of seasoned timber and wood decay fungi (rot), present on the date and time of the Inspection.
8. In both cases the Inspection will not cover any other pests and the Report will not comment on them. Dry wood termites (Family: KALOTERMITIDAE) and European House Borer (Hylotrupes bujulus Linnaeus) will be excluded from the Inspection.
9. The inspection will report any evidence of a termite treatment that happens to be found. Where evidence of a treatment is reported then the Client should assume that the treatment was applied as a curative and not as a preventative measure. You should obtain a statement from the owner as to any treatments that have been carried out to the property. It is important to obtain copies of any other related paperwork issued.
10. THIS IS A VISUAL INSPECTION ONLY - The Inspector will conduct a non–invasive visual inspection which will be limited to those accessible areas and sections of the property to which Safe and Reasonable Access (see Definitions below) is both available and permitted on the date and time of the inspection. Areas where reasonable entry is denied to the inspector, or where Safe and Reasonable access is not available, such areas are excluded from and do not form part of the inspection. Those areas may be the subject of an additional inspection upon request following the provision of reasonable entry and access.
11. REASONABLE ACCESS AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: No liability shall be accepted on account of failure of the Report to notify any problems in any area(s) or section(s) of the subject property physically inaccessible for inspection, or to which access for Inspection is denied by or to the Inspector (including by not limited to any area(s) or section(s) so specified by the Report). Only areas to which reasonable access is available were inspected. Areas where reasonable entry is denied to the inspector, or where safe and reasonable access is not available, are excluded from and do not form part of, the inspection. Those areas may be the subject of an additional inspection upon request following the provision or reasonable entry and access. The Australian Standard 4349.1 defines reasonable access as “the extent of accessible areas shall be determined by the inspector at the time of inspection, based on the conditions encountered at the time of the inspection. The inspector shall also determine whether sufficient space is available to allow safe access. The inspection shall include only accessible areas and areas that are within the inspector’s line of sight and close enough to enable reasonable appraisal.” Reasonable access does not include the cutting of access holes or the removal of screws and bolts or any other fastenings or sealants to access covers. Sub floor areas sprayed with Chemicals will not be inspected unless it is safe to do so.
12. The inspection WILL NOT involve any invasive inspection including cutting, breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, roofing, wall and ceiling sheeting, ducting, foliage, mouldings, debris, roof insulation, sarking, sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, fixtures, floors, pavers, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions. The inspector WILL NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. An invasive inspection will ONLY be performed if a separate contract is entered into between You and Us.
13. The inspector may use a probe or screwdriver to tap and sound some timbers and may use a sharp knife to carry out some “splinter testing” on structural timbers in the sub-floor and/or roof space. Splinter testing WILL NOT be carried out where the inspection is being carried out for a purchaser who is not the owner of the property being inspected. The inspector may use a moisture meter to check moisture levels in walls that back onto wet areas such as showers etc. Other than these areas, the moisture meter will not be used on other surfaces except where the visual inspection indicates that there may be a need to further test the area.
14. The inspection and Report compares the inspected building with a building constructed to the generally accepted practice at the time and one which has been maintained so that there has been no significant loss of strength and permanence.
15. The inspection excludes the inside of walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, and other areas that are concealed or obstructed. Insulation in the roof space may conceal the ceiling timbers and make inspection of the area unsafe.
16. The Report is not a certificate of compliance that the property complies with the requirements of any Act, regulation, ordinance, local law or by-law, or as a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building in the future.
17. Asbestos: No inspection for asbestos will be carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos will be provided. If during the course of the Inspection asbestos or materials containing asbestos happen to be noticed then this may be noted in the general remarks section of the Report. If asbestos is noted as present within the property then you agree to seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert as to the amount and importance of the asbestos present and the cost of sealing or of removal.
18. Mould (Mildew) and Non-Wood Decay Fungi Disclaimer: No inspection or report will be made for mould (mildew) and non-wood decay fungi.
19. SWIMMING POOLS: Swimming Pools/Spas are not part of the Standard Building Report under AS4349.1-2007 and are not covered by this Report. We strongly recommend a pool expert should be consulted to examine the pool and the pool equipment and plumbing as well as the requirements to meet the standard for pool fencing. Failure to conduct this inspection and put into place the necessary recommendations could result in fines for non compliance under the legislation.
20. ROOMS BELOW GROUND LEVEL: If there are any rooms under the house or below ground level (whether they be habitable or non-habitable rooms), these may be subject to dampness and water penetration. Drains are not always installed correctly or could be blocked. It is common to have damp problems and water entry into these types of rooms, especially during periods of heavy rainfall and this may not be evident upon initial inspection. These rooms may not have council approval. The purchaser should make their own enquiries with the Council to ascertain if approval was given.
21. Magnesite Flooring Disclaimer: No inspection for Magnesite flooring will be carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Magnesite Flooring will be provided. You should ask the owner whether Magnesite Flooring is present and/or seek advice from a Structural Engineer.
22. Estimating Disclaimer: Any estimates provided in the Report are merely opinions of possible costs that could be encountered, based on the knowledge and experience of the inspector, and are not estimates in the sense of being a calculation of the likely costs to be incurred. The estimates are NOT a guarantee or quotation for work to be carried out. The inspector accepts no liability for any estimates provided throughout this Report and where they occur You agree to obtain and rely on independent quotations for the same work.
23. If the property to be inspected is occupied then You must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed. Where the Report says the property is occupied and You are not the owner occupier of the property, You agree to:
a) Obtain a written statement from the owner as to:
i. any timber pest activity or damage;
ii. any timber repairs or other repairs;
iii. alterations or other problems to the property known to them;
iv. any other work carried out to the property including timber pest treatments; and
v. copies of any paperwork issued and the details of all work carried out, and if possible, provide such paperwork to the inspector prior to the inspection being carried out.
b) Indemnify the inspector from any loss incurred by You relating to the items listed in clause a) above where no such statement is obtained.
24. Where the property is a strata or similar title, only the interior and immediate exterior of the specified dwelling will be inspected by the inspector. The inspection will be as outlined in AS4349.1-2007 Appendix B. Therefore it is advised that the client obtain an inspection of common areas prior to any decision to purchase.
25. The inspection and Report WILL NOT report on any defects which may not be apparent due to prevailing weather conditions at the time of the inspection. Such defects may only become apparent in differing weather conditions.
26. This Report does not and cannot make comment upon: defects that may have been concealed; the assessment or detection of defects (including rising damp and leaks) which may be subject to the prevailing weather conditions and may only become apparent in differing weather conditions; whether or not services have been used for some time prior to the inspection and whether this will affect the detection of leaks or other defects (eg. In the case of shower enclosures the absence of any dampness at the time of the inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak). Accordingly this Report is not a guarantee that defects and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property.
27. You agree that We cannot accept any liability for Our failure to report a defect that was concealed by the owner or occupier of the building being inspected and You agree to indemnify Us for any failure to find such concealed defects.
28. Where Our Report recommends another type of inspection including an invasive inspection and report and the Report is for a pre-purchase situation, then You should have such an inspection carried out prior to the contract going unconditional. If You fail to follow Our recommendations then You agree and accept that You may suffer a financial loss and indemnify Us against all losses that you incur resulting from Your failure to act on our advice.
29. Unless otherwise stated, the Report is prepared and presented under the assumption that the existing use of the building will continue as a Residential Property.
ADDITIONAL LIMITATIONS REGARDING PEST INSPECTIONS
30. Nothing contained in the Report will imply that any inaccessible or partly inaccessible area(s) or section(s) of the property are not, or have not been, infested by termites or timber pests. Accordingly the Report will not guarantee that an infestation and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property. Nor can it guarantee that a future infestation of Termite Pests will not occur or be found. If the property to be inspected is occupied, then You must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed.
31. The Report will state timber damage found as “very minor”, “minor”, “minor to moderate”, “moderate”, “moderate to extensive” or “extensive”. This information is not the opinion of an expert, as the inspector is not qualified to give an expert opinion. The Report will not and cannot state the full extent of any timber pest damage. If any evidence of timber pest activity and/or damage resulting from timber pest activity is reported either in the structure(s) or the grounds of the property, then You must assume that there may be some structural or concealed damage within the building(s). An invasive timber pest inspection (for which a separate contract is required) should be carried out and You should arrange for a qualified person such as a Licensed Builder, Structural Engineer or Architect carry out a structural inspection and to determine the full extent of the damage and the extent of repairs that may be required.
32. If timber pest activity and/or damage is found, within the structures or the grounds of the property, then damage may exist in concealed areas, e.g. framing timbers. In this case an invasive inspection is strongly recommended. Damage may only be found when wall linings, cladding or insulation are removed to reveal previously concealed timber. You agree that neither We nor the individual conducting the inspection is responsible or liable for the repair of any damage whether disclosed by the Report or not.
33. In the event of a dispute or a claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email, fax or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within (28) days of the date of the inspection.
If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.
Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of the Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:
(a) The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and
(b) The arbitration will be held within (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions.
The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) days of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs.
The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.
In the event that You do not fully comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.
34. Third Parties
Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the Client. Any third party acting or relying on this Report, in whole or in part, does so entirely at their own risk. However, if ordered by a real estate agent or a vendor for the purpose of selling a property, then the inspection Report will have a life of 14 days from the date of the inspection during which time it may be transferred to the purchaser or potential purchaser providing the purchaser or potential purchaser agrees to the terms of this agreement and only then may rely on the Report subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement and the Report itself.
35. Prohibition on the Provision or Sale of the Report
The Report may not be sold or provided to any other Person without Our express written permission, unless the Client is authorised to do so by Legislation.
If We give our permission it may be subject to conditions such as payment of a further fee by the transferee and agreement from the transferee to comply with this clause.
However, We may sell the Report to any other Person although there is no obligation for Us to do so.
You release Us from any and all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of whatever nature that the person may have at any time hereafter arising from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.
You indemnify Us in respect of any and all liability, including all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of any nature, which may be incurred by, brought, made or recovered against us arising directly or indirectly from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.
If you request Us to re-inspect the property for any reason, the minimum cost is $220. Re-inspection of the property is sometimes required if an area was locked or inaccessible at the time of inspection or if You are the vendor and have made repairs and request an amended Report.
39. Postponement or Cancellation of Inspection
You agree to pay an Administration fee of $50.00 if the inspection is postponed or cancelled by You, or at Your request, within 72 hours of the agreed inspection time.
You agree to pay 50% of the inspection fee if the inspection is postponed or cancelled by You, or at Your request, within 48 hours of the agreed inspection time.
You agree to pay the cost of the inspection fee if the inspection is postponed or cancelled by You, or at Your request, within 24 hours of the agreed inspection time.
You agree to make payment for the inspection and Report on receipt of the invoice.
NB We may withhold verbal advice or the issue of the Report until payment has been received.
You should read and understand the following definitions of words used in this agreement and the Report. This will help You understand what is involved in a property inspection, the difficulties faced by the inspector, and the contents of the Report which will be provided to You following the inspection.
Access Hole (cover) means a hole in the structure allowing safe entry to an area.
Accessible Area is any area of the property and structures allowing the inspector Safe and Reasonable Access (see definition) within the scope of the inspection.
Active means live timber pests that were sighted during the inspection.
Client means the person(s) or other legal entity for which the inspection is to be carried out. If ordered by the person(s)’s agent then it is agreed that the agent represents the person(s) and has the authority to act for and on their behalf. (See also “You/Your” below)
Defect means a variation or fault in material or a component or assembled element that deviates from its intended appearance or function.
High Moisture Readings means a reading on a moisture meter that is higher than the norm for other parts of the structure. Such high readings should be investigated by invasive means as the presence could indicate a leak or may indicate timber pest activity and damage.
Inactive means that no Active (see definition above) timber pests were detected but evidence such as workings, damage, mudding or exit holes were found at the time of the inspection.
NOTE: Where visual evidence of inactive termite workings and/or damage is located, it is possible that termites may still be active in the immediate vicinity and the termites may continue to cause further damage. It is not possible, without benefit of further investigation and inspections over a period of time, to ascertain whether any infestation is active or inactive. Continued, regular, inspections are essential.
Inspector means the company, partnership or individual named in this agreement that you have requested to carry out a property inspection and Report. (See also “Our/Us/We” below.)
Limitation means any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.
Major Defect means a defect of such significance that without correction would not avoid Safety Concerns, loss of the intended practical performance of the building element or an additional decline in the existing condition of the property inspected.
Minor Defect means a defect that is not a Major defect.
Our/Us/We – means the company, partnership or individual named in this agreement that you have requested to carry out the property inspection and Report.
Person means any individual, company, partnership or association who is not a Client.
Pre-Settlement Handover Report is a type of Special Purpose Report and means a defects inspection report for the purpose of checking the quality of the build in accordance with the acceptable industry standard.
Property means the structures, gardens, trees and fences etc up to thirty (30) metres from the exterior walls of the main building but within the boundaries of the land on which the main building is erected. Unless You specifically order in writing that structures, gardens, trees and fences etc outside the thirty (30) metres from the exterior walls of the main building be inspected, no such inspection will be carried out.
Report means the document and any attachments issued to you by us following our inspection of the property.
Safe and Reasonable Access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods or moving furniture or stored goods. The Standards AS4349.1-2007 and AS4349.3-2010 provide information concerning safe and reasonable access: Only areas where reasonable and safe access is available will be inspected. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or where space available is less than the following:
Roof Exterior – must be accessible by a 3.6m ladder placed at ground level.
Roof Space – The dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by a 3.6m ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of crawl space. NB Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods. Nor does reasonable access include cutting or making access traps, or moving heavy furniture or stored goods.
Subfloor – the dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, there is at least 400mm crawl space beneath the lowest bearer, or, 500mm beneath the lowest part of a concrete floor.
NOTE: The inspector shall determine whether sufficient space is available to allow safe access to confined areas. Safe and Reasonable Access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods. Nor does Safe and Reasonable Access include cutting or making access traps, or moving furniture or stored goods.
SPECIAL PURPOSE PROPERTY REPORT: The inspection Will not cover or report the items listed in Appendix D to AS4349.1-2007. This Standard Property Report does not contain any assessment or opinion in relation to any item, which is the subject of a Special Purpose Property Report (as defined in AS4349.1), or any matter where the inspection or assessment of which is solely regulated by Statute. Special Purpose Property Reports include comment on the following: Estimating Report; Electrical; Plumbing & Gas; Pest; Structural Engineering; Common property areas; Boundary lines and encroachment measurements; Environmental matters such as aspect, geotechnical, sunlight, privacy, streetscape, views etc; Proximity of property to flight paths, railways and busy traffic or other neighbourhood issues; Noise levels; Health and safety issues including the presence of asbestos, lead, mould, or toxic soils etc; Hazards Inspection;; Heritage or security matters; Fire protection or safety; Analysis of site drainage apart from surface water drainage; Lift Hydraulics; Garage door mechanicals; Swimming pools and spas; Durability of exposed finish materials; Neighbourhood usage such as pests, closeness to mines, public transport, hotels, stormwater drains, public entertainment venues etc; Document analysis eg. sewer drainage, plans and diagrams, surveys, building approvals, detection of illegal construction and compliance etc; The operation of fireplaces, chimneys, alarm systems, intercom systems, data systems, electrical and mechanical appliances, air conditioning systems, smoke detectors and residual current devices have not been
STRATA TITLE: Where the property is covered by an Owners Corporation (Strata Title), we strongly recommend that an Owners Corporation search be conducted to ascertain the financial position, the level of maintenance and any other relevant information available through the conduct of such an inspection. Where the property is a strata or similar title, the inspector will only inspect the interior and immediate exterior of the particular unit requested to be inspected. The exterior above ground floor level is not inspected. The inspection will be as outlined in AS 4349.1-2007 Appendix B. Therefore it is advised that the client obtain an inspection of common areas prior to any decision to purchase. The complete inspection of other common property areas would be the subject of a Special Purpose Inspection.
Termites means Subterranean and Dampwood Termites (white ants) and does not include Dry Wood Termites.
The Australian Standards means the standards set by the Building Code of Australia which are prohibited from being published due to copyright laws but may be accessed and purchased online at: www.saiglobal.com/Information/Standards/Collections/BCA-Standards/Australian_Standards_and_Building_Products.pdf
You/Your means the party identified as the Client, and where more than one party all such parties jointly and severally, together with any agent of that party.
41. If there is anything in this agreement that You do not understand, then, prior to the commencement of the inspection, You must contact Us by phone or in person and have Us explain and clarify the matter to your satisfaction. Your failure to contact Us means that You have read to this agreement and You do fully understand the contents.
42. You agree that in accepting this agreement You have read and understood the contents of this agreement and that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with this document.