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“Well it’s all up to you” - Yeah right!

August 23, 2017 at 10:19 AM

“Well it’s all up to you” - Yeah right!

I just wanted to share a recent experience I had with a vendor who was giving me access to a property to do a pre-purchase inspection for a prospective purchaser.

The property was unoccupied and the vendor was selling the property privately. After he opened up for me, he asked at the end of the inspection if I would leave the keys in the meter box and he would return later at his convenience to check everything was locked up and pick up the keys. I agreed, thanked him and wished him well with the sale. His response was “well it’s all up to you”.

Hold fire just a minute let’s have a look at this, is this reaction correct, here are my thoughts:

Did I build the property I’m inspecting and therefore had control over what products were used and how they were installed?

Have I, the inspector been responsible for the regular maintenance and repairs on his home?

The answer is NO.

So how could his response “well it’s all up to you” be true? 

Think about this:

Did the vendor have an inspection done by an Accredited Building Surveyor prior to purchasing the property originally?

Has he, the vendor maintained the home on a regular basis?

Has the vendor reviewed the condition himself or had an Accredited Building Surveyor review it for him prior to listing the property?

In short the condition of a home has absolutely nothing to do with the Inspector. The Inspector is not responsible for the maintenance and is highly unlikely to have built the home originally. The Inspector is simply there to document gradual deterioration, minor and major defects and advise his client how to deal with deferred maintenance or defects as found on the property.

The condition of a property and the possible content of a report are beyond the control of the Inspector, however the home owner has control of the final outcome. By undertaking a maintenance review prior to listing the property they would understand and be fully aware of what maintenance items were currently associated with the property. This gives them the opportunity to undertake any maintenance overdue or otherwise, or in the instance it has not been remedied at the time of listing, the vendor has the opportunity to disclose the property’s condition.

Here are some things this particular inspection highlighted:

There is damaged gable end cladding which has been allowing moisture into the roof cavity causing damage to the timber trusses.

The garage roller door has split due to rusting and needs to be replaced.

There are no vent gaps to the top of the brick masonry and no drainage outlets at the base.

There is a lack of clearance between ground levels and the cladding.

Valley flashings have rusted and need to be replaced within the shorter term.

So really with comments like “well it’s all up to you”, the shoe is in reality on the other foot.

Tags: building inspection Palmerston North Building Inspection Wellington BOINZ Accredited Building Surveyor Property inspection Wellington Builders report