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October 30, 2014 at 6:57 PM


House buyers want one with all the bad stuff, house sellers want a glowing one, and real estate agents want one to help the deal to go through. They're house inspections, property inspections, or builder's reports.

There are hundreds of people offering the service, but no rules they have to follow.

A recent ruling from the Real Estate Agents Authority lifted the lid on an open secret in the game - a real estate agent was telling her buyers not to use a particular company because she thought it was "over the top". She even had a contract clause excluding that company.

Standard compliance

There is a NZ Standard for Residential Property Inspection (NZS4306:2005) but it's not compulsory. Lots of inspectors claim to be compliant, but that isn't necessarily the case. For example, professional indemnity insurance is mandatory for compliance. That's cover for things like loss from negligent advice, but that insurance is hideously expensive and a lot of inspectors don't have it.

Our advice

- Get in writing that the inspector is NZS4306 compliant
- Ask if they have professional indemnity insurance
- Check the Building Officials Institute of New Zealand site for the list of Accredited Building Surveyors (watch out for inspectors who advertise they are Members of BOINZ, they need to be actually Accredited Building Surveyors).

Tags: Building Inspector