TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The purpose of the inspection is to identify the major defects and safety hazards associated with the property at the time of the inspection. The inspection and reporting is limited to a visual assessment of the building members in accord with appendix C AS4349.1-2007. This is a general appraisal only and cannot be relied on its own, further inspections by specialist trades is strongly recommended.
DEFINITIONS AND TERMINOLOGY
SERVICEABLE: The building material or component is in reasonable or serviceable condition
TRADESMAN: A defect or a number of defects were visible that will require assessment by a qualified trades person.
AGE: The component has deterioration due to ageing or lack of upkeep and or maintenance.
MONITOR: Some defects may require monitoring to ascertain if the defect will worsen,
STRATA – In the case of strata and company title properties, the inspection is limited to the interior and immediate exterior of the particular unit being inspected. This report does NOT include review of body corporate or similar records.
HIGH: The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are beyond the inspector’s expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age that have been reasonably well maintained.
TYPICAL: The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are consistent with the inspector’s expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age which have been reasonably well maintained.
LOW: The frequency and/or magnitude of defects are lower than the inspector’s expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age that have been reasonably well maintained.
ABOVE AVERAGE: The overall condition is above that consistent with dwellings of approximately the same age and construction. Most items and areas are well maintained and show a reasonable standard of workmanship when compared with buildings of similar age and construction.
AVERAGE: The overall condition is consistent with dwellings of approximately the same age and construction. There will be areas or items requiring some repair or maintenance.
BELOW AVERAGE: The building and its parts show some significant defects and/or very poor non- tradesman like workmanship and/or long term neglect and/or defects requiring major repairs or reconstruction of major building.
SIGNIFICANT ITEMS: An item that must be reported in accordance with the scope of the inspection.
MAJOR DEFECT: A defect of sufficient magnitude requiring building works to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of function or further worsening of the defective item.
MINOR DEFECT: Any defect other than what is described as a Significant Item or major defect.
SAFETY HAZARD: A defect that presents unsafe conditions and must be reported as a Major defect.
ACCESSIBLE AREA: Is any area of the property and structures allowing the inspector safe and reasonable access within the scope of the inspection.
LIMITATION: A factor that prevents full or proper inspection of the building.
Important information regarding the scope and limitations of the inspection and this report. Any person who relies upon the contents of this report does so acknowledging that the following clauses which define the scope and limitations of the inspection, form an integral part of the report.
The inspection comprised a visual assessment of the property to identify major defects and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the property at the time and date of the visual inspection. An estimate of the cost of rectification of defects is outside the scope of Australian Standard AS 4349 and does not form part of this report. If the property inspected is part of a Strata or Company Title, then the inspection is limited to the interior and the immediate exterior of that particular residential dwelling. The inspection does not cover common property.
The report and any other attached report should not be relied upon if the contract for sale becomes binding more than 30 days after the date of initial inspection. A re- inspection after this time is essential. Further, this report is not intended to be used as a marketing tool by and realestate agents and only the person named in the CLIENT INFORMATION section of the report shall this report apply to as it is assumed and agreed that the person who orders the report is indeed the person purchasing the property inspected. Where a report is ordered on behalf of a CLIENT it is assumed that the terms and condition and Pre Inspection Agreement have been fully explained to the CLIENT by the person or company ordering the report.
We strongly advise that any cracking reported in this report should be referred to a structural engineer for further assessment and advice.
Acceptance Criteria: The building shall be compared with a building that was constructed in accordance with the generally accepted practice at the time of construction and which has been maintained such that there has been no significant loss of strength and serviceability.
Limitations: This report is limited to a visual inspection of areas where safe and reasonable access is available and access permitted on the date and at the time of inspection. The Inspection will be carried out in accordance with AS4349.1-2007. The purpose of the inspection is to provide advice to a prospective purchaser regarding the condition of the property at the date and time of inspection. Areas for Inspection shall cover all safe and accessible areas. It does not purport to be geological as to foundation integrity or soil conditions, engineering as to structural, nor does it cover the condition of electrical, plumbing, gas or motorised appliances. It is strongly recommended that an appropriately qualified contractor check these services prior to purchase. As a matter of course, and in the interests of safety, all prospective purchasers should have an electrical report carried out by a suitably qualified contractor. This report is limited to (unless otherwise noted) the main structure on the site and any other building, structure or outbuilding within 30m of the main structure and within the site boundaries including fences.
Safe and Reasonable Access: Only areas to which safe and reasonable access is available were inspected. The Australian Standard AS4349.1 defines reasonable access as “areas where safe, unobstructed access ” is provided and the minimum clearances specified below are available, or where these clearances are not available, areas within the inspector’s unobstructed line of sight and within arm’s length. Reasonable access does not include removing screws and bolts to access covers. Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods and does not include cutting or making access traps or moving heavy furniture, floor coverings or stored goods.
Roof Interior– Access opening = 400 x 500 mm – Crawl Space = 600 x 600mm – Height accessible from a 3.6m ladder.
Roof Exterior– Must be accessible from a 3.6m ladder placed on the ground.
- NOT A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE: This report is not an all encompassing report dealing with the building from every aspect. It is a reasonable attempt to identify any obvious or significant defects apparent at the time of the inspection. Whether or not, a defect is considered significant or not depends too a large extent, upon the age and type of the building inspected. This report is not a certificate of compliance with the requirements of any act, regulation, ordinance or by-law. It is not a structural report. Should you require any advice of a structural nature you should contact a structural engineer.
2) VISUAL INSPECTION: This is a visual inspection only limited to those areas and sections of the property fully accessible and visible to the inspector on the date of inspection.
2A) Please refer to each individual area regarding sections that were incapable or being inspected. Please acknowledge the following. Where a complete inspection of some areas listed through the report may not have been physically possible (due to but not limited to – storage, furniture, beds, personal belongings in cupboards and/or wardrobes, the 2nd storey roofing, gutters, fascia, flashings and the like, low clearance in sub floor or roof void areas, ducts and deep insulation restricting access in roof voids, sub floor restrictions including plumbing, ducts, low clearance, no access doors or access doors too small and the like) then it follows that defects, timber pest activity and/or damage may exist in these areas. To adequately inspect these restricted areas, ducts and floor boards may need to be removed, furniture moved, cupboards and wardrobes emptied which will be difficult to carry out. This will obviously be difficult to carry out due to time restrictions and permission would need to be obtained from the property owner.
This Firm DOES NOT GUARANTEE IN ANY WAY that there ARE OR ARE NOT any defects, termite damage or live termites in any areas NOT ABLE to be inspected. To obtain a full understanding of the report findings, it is essential you read the entire inspection report, including the information sections at the end of this report and I encourage you to call me if you have any queries at all before purchasing the inspected dwelling.
2B) Entering attics or roof voids that are heavily insulated can cause damage to the insulation and attic framing. Attics with deep insulation cannot be safely inspected due to limited visibility of the framing members upon which the inspector must walk. In such cases, the attic is only partially accessed, thereby limiting the review of the attic area from the hatch area only. Inspectors will not crawl the attic area when they believe it is a danger to them or that they might damage the attic insulation or framing. There is a limited review of the attic area viewed from the hatch only in these circumstances.
2C) The roof covering will not be walked upon if in the opinion of the inspector it is not safe to do so. Generally issues that prevent roof access include, access height over 3 metres, steep pitch, wet/slippery surfaces, deteriorated covering. Not being able to walk a roof significantly limits our inspection which can result in hidden defects going undetected. The overall condition of the roofing and its components is an opinion of the general quality and condition of the roofing material. The inspector cannot and does not offer an opinion or warranty as to whether the roof leaks or may be subject to future leakage. This report is issued in consideration of the foregoing disclaimer. The only way to determine whether a roof is absolutely water tight is to observe it during a prolonged rainfall. Many times, this situation is not present during the inspection. We offer no guarantee that the roof cladding or roof components such as flashing will not leak in the future.
2D) Limitations of the exterior inspection. This is a visual inspection limited in scope by (but not restricted to) the following conditions: A representative sample of exterior components was inspected rather than every occurrence of components. The inspection does not include an assessment of geological, geotechnical, or hydrological conditions, or environmental hazards. Screening, shutters, awnings, or similar seasonal accessories, fences, recreational facilities, outbuildings, seawalls, break-walls, docks, erosion control and earth stabilisation measures are not inspected unless specifically agreed-upon and documented in this report. Please note – If any wall cracking/cracks/openings are found at this dwelling, we cannot offer any guarantee that any visible wall cracks will not widen or lengthen over time or in the future as this is impossible to predict. We strongly recommend you contact a practicing structural engineer for further advice.
2E) Timber framed windows can bind or stick. This can be seasonal due to the fluctuation in moisture content in timber. If binding or sticking continues minor adjustments may be required by a carpenter. Binding windows is not normally a major defect, however in some circumstances binding windows and doors can be directly related to some differential footings settlement. If any timber fungal decay on frames or deteriorated putty seals is noted, the consultant will not attempt to operate windows due to potential damage. Windows that are sticking, binding or paint stuck will also not be forced open. Water leaks to Windows and surrounds can not be be determined in the absence of rain.
2F) Internal Inspections. Inspection to the upper-side of flooring of the internal inspection is normally restricted by carpets and or other floor coverings, cupboards/cabinets, joinery, finishes and fittings. Defects or timber pest damage may be present and not detected in areas where inspection was limited, obstructed or access was not gained. The condition of walls behind wall coverings, paneling and furnishings cannot be inspected or reported on. Only the general condition of visible areas is included in this inspection.
Where fitted. Wood burning and other forms of fireboxes are outside the scope of this inspection. We recommend you have these tested prior to purchase for peace of mind.
2G) Important note: Where any elevated structure (deck, balcony, veranda etc) is present, and this elevated structure is designed to accommodate people, you must have this structure checked by an engineer or other suitably qualified person. You should also arrange annual inspections of the structure by an engineer or other suitably qualified person to ensure any maintenance that may become necessary is identified. Care must be taken not to overload the structure. Nothing contained in this inspection should be taken as an indicator that we have assessed any elevated structure as suitable for any specific number of people or purpose. This can only be done by a qualified engineer. For the purpose of this report, the structure includes elevated decks, verandas, pergolas, balconies, handrails, stairs and children’s play areas. Where any structural component of such a structure is concealed by lining materials or other obstructions, these linings or obstructions must be removed to enable an evaluation to be carried out by an appropriately qualified person.
3) CONCEALED DEFECTS: 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 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 and bath tubs, the absence of any leaks or dampness at the time of the inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak after use) the presence or absence of timber pests; gas-fittings; common property areas; environmental concerns; the proximity of the property to flight paths, railways, or busy traffic; noise levels; health and safety issues; heritage concerns; security concerns; fire protection; site drainage (apart from surface water drainage); swimming pools and spas (non-structural); detection and identification of illegal building work; detection and identification of illegal plumbing work; durability of exposed finishes; neighbourhood problems; document analysis; electrical installation; any matters that are solely regulated by statute; any area(s) or item(s) that could not be inspected by the consultant.
4) NO GUARANTEE: 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. Such matters may upon request be covered under the terms of a special purpose property report.
5) 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 finds for non compliance under the legislation.
6) SURFACE WATER AND DRAINAGE: The retention of water from surface run off could have an effect on the foundation material which in turn could affect the footings to the house. Best practice is to monitor the flow of surface water and storm water run off and have the water directed away from the house or to storm water pipes by a licensed drainage plumber. The general adequacy of site drainage is not included in the standard property inspection report. Comments on surface water drainage are limited as where there has been either little or no rainfall for a period of time, surface water drainage may appear to be adequate but then during periods of heavy rain, may be found to be inadequate. Any comments made in this report are relevant only to the conditions present at the time of inspection. It is recommended that a smoke test be obtained to determine any illegal connections, blocked or broken drains.
7) SHOWER RECESSES: Tests may be made on shower recesses to detect leaks (if water is connected). The tests may not reveal leaks or show incorrect waterproofing if silicone liquid or masonry sealant has been applied prior to the inspection. Such application is a temporary waterproofing measure and may last for some months before breaking down. The tests on the shower recesses are limited to running water within the recesses and visually checking for leaks As showers are only checked for a short period of time, prolonged use may reveal leaks that were not detected at the time of inspection. No evidence of a current leak during inspection does not necessarily mean that the shower does not leak.
8) GLASS CAUTION: Glazing in older houses (built before 1978) may not necessarily comply with current glass safety standards AS1288. In the interests of safety, glass panes in doors and windows especially in traffic-able areas should be replaced with safety glass or have shatterproof film installed unless they already comply with the current standard.
9) STAIRS AND BALUSTRADES: Specifications have been laid down by the Australian Building Code â€“ Section 3.9 covering stairs, landings, balustrades to ensure the safety of all occupants and visitors in a building. Many balustrades and stairs built before 1996 may not comply with the current standard. You must upgrade all such items to the current standard to improve safety.
10) RETAINING WALLS: Where retaining walls are more than 700mm high these wall/s should have been installed with engineering design and supervision. Walls found on the site were not assessed and the performance of these walls is not the subject of a standard property report and should be further investigated with regard to the following items, adequate drainage systems, adequate load bearing, correct component sizing and batter.
11) 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.
12) ASBESTOS DISCLAIMER : No inspection for asbestos was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos is provided.
13) MOULD (mildew and non-wood decay fungi) disclaimer: Mildew and non wood decay fungi is commonly known as mould. However, mould and their spores may cause health problems or allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people. No inspection for mould was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of mould is provided.
14) MAGNESITE DISCLAIMER: No inspection for magnesite flooring was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of magnesite flooring is provided. You should ask the owner whether magnesite flooring is present and/or seek advice from a structural engineer.
15) ESTIMATING DISCLAIMER: No estimate is provided in this report. We strongly recommend you obtain quotes for repairs from licensed tradesman prior to a decision to purchase.
16) DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: No liability shall be accepted on an account of failure of the report to notify any problems in the 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 but not limited to or any area(s) or section(s) so specified by the report) Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the client named on the front of this report. Compensation is limited to the price of the report initially paid by the claimant named in the report as the “CLIENT”
17) DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY TO THIRD PARTIES: Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the Client named on the front of this report. Any third party acting or relying on this Report, in whole or in part, does so entirely at their own risk.
18) COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE: In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, or any alleged negligent act or omission on Our part or on the part of the individual conducting the Inspection, either party may give written Notice of the dispute or claim to the other party. If the dispute is not resolved within twenty one (21) days from the service of the written Notice then either party may refer the dispute or claim to a mediator nominated by Us. The cost shall be met equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement. Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then one or other of the parties may refer the dispute or claim to the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia who will appoint an Arbitrator who will resolve the dispute by arbitration. The Arbitrator will also determine what costs each of the parties are to pay.
OTHER RECOMMENDED INSPECTIONS
Electrical installation: All electrical wiring, meter-box and appliances need to be checked by a qualified electrician.The inspection of any electrical item is outside the scope of this report.
Plumbing: All plumbing needs to be inspected and reported on by a plumber.
Hot water service: All hot water services need to be inspected and reported on by a plumber and/or electrician.
Gas: All gas services need to be inspected and reported on by a gas plumber.
Phone: All phones, phone lines and outlets need to be inspected and reported on by a telecommunications technician.
Smoke Alarm: Australian standard AS3786 advises that smoke alarms are required for all buildings where people sleep. It is recommended that an electrician be consulted to give advice on those installed or to install smoke alarms.
The septic tanks: Should be inspected by a licensed plumber.
Trees: Where trees are too close to the house this could affect the performance of the footing as the moisture levels change in the ground.