Why use a building inspector and not a builder friend

Builder climbing scaffolding

Why use a building inspector and not a builder friend

Often the kiwi approach to life is the can-do attitude. The ‘I can do it myself’ mentality and the ‘she’ll be alright mate’. Property buyers often think that either they can do the building inspection themselves, or their friend can do it for a box of beer. This can be affordable in the short term, but is often much more expensive in the long term.

There are many reasons why it is important to use a building inspector and not a builder friend. Below we have identified the three key reasons you should use a building inspector when purchasing a property.

1. The general terms of sale

Formal qualifications aren’t required to be a building inspector in New Zealand. However, the general terms of sale found in a New Zealand Sale and Purchase Agreement state in clause 9.4(2) that “The report must be prepared in good faith by a suitably-qualified building inspector in accordance with accepted principles and methods and it must be in writing.”

Clause 9.4(5) of the general terms of sale states; “If the purchaser avoids this agreement for non-fulfilment of this condition pursuant to subclause 9.10(5), the purchaser must provide the vendor immediately upon request with a copy of the building inspector’s report.”

The New Zealand Sale and Purchase Agreement is approved by the Real Estate Insitute of New Zealand. This was incorporated (REINZ) and by Auckland District Law Society Incorporated (ADLS).

Simply put, if you choose to cancel your offer on a property due to a defect identified, the vendor has the authority to request the building report. This is to ensure that your reasons for withdrawing your offer are true and honest.

If you have had the property looked over by a builder friend, it is common that you will not be provided with a written building report, especially one which covers the Residential Property Inspection NZS 4306:2005. This would mean that if you were to withdraw your offer based on the defect identified by your builder friend, you would be in breach of your contractual agreement. You would therefore be at risk of losing your deposit on the property.

2. Professional Indemnity Insurance

While PI insurance is generally there to protect the inspector, it also protects you, the purchaser. PI insurance is intended to protect the professional and their organisation against the financial strain of legal action. If a building inspector was negligent or breached their professional duty, their PI insurance would likely cover them. It’s not common for builders to have PI insurance. This means if they miss something that needs resolving, you are at risk of not being covered.

An example of PI insurance would be if the inspector fails to check whether the property contains dux quest plumbing. This would make it difficult to insure the property unless you replace all of the plumbing. Dux Quest Plumbing was used in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It replaced copper plumbing, however, it was later discovered that Dux Quest was notorious for splitting and causing leaks. You can read more about dux quest plumbing here.

If this happened, our Betta Inspect It building inspector will be covered by PI insurance, and this will likely be covered by their insurance. However, should you have a builder friend conduct the inspection, you will be left with the big bill of replacing the plumbing.

3. Broken relationships

We are sure you’ve heard the saying ‘don’t do business with family or friends’. Well, these are often wise words… While it’s easy to do business with a friend or family member, when things go wrong, it often ruins relationships. What would you do if your builder friend misses a major defect on your property? The obvious answer is to talk to them about it, but what if it is serious? Would you pursue legal action?

What is the purpose of independent building inspections?

  • A building inspector will conduct a thorough inspection of the property. They provide advice to the client about the condition of the property at the time of inspection.
  • Building inspectors have a wealth of experience and can identify hidden defects that may have been concealed by the seller.
  • The seller often doesn’t know the existing condition of the property. An independent building report is valuable when negotiating the price of a property before it’s sold.
  • A building inspection can outlines structural damage or any existing defects that may lead to structural damage.
  • Depending on the result of the inspection, building inspectors may recommend a condition assessment be conducted. A condition assessment can advise on the cost of repair or replacement. This allows the client to go in eyes open.

Types of building inspection reports

Betta Inspect It gives expert advice on the current condition of a property and also offers the following reports:

What we’d like you to take away from this, is it is very important to use a qualified building inspector when purchasing your next property. Quite simply, it’s the Betta choice.

To book your next building inspection, contact us on 0800 422 388.