Pre Inspection Agreement


Contents 

Agreements as published on the 8th of July 2010.

 

BUILDING INSPECTIONS

TYPE OF INSPECTION

Where the inspection request is for a Building and Timber Pest Inspection (termite, wood borers & fungal decay) references to building and timber pest inspections within this agreement will apply.  

Where the inspection request is for a building (or special purpose) inspection only, references to building inspections within this agreement will apply. 

Where the inspection request is for a timber pest inspection only, references to timber pest inspections within this agreement will apply.

THIRD PARTY DISCLAIMER

The report is solely for the use and benefit of the client whose name appears on the front of the report.  The inspector is not liable for any third party reliance or use of this report.  Unless authorised under Legislation, the report may not be provided or sold to any other person without our written consent.  Where consent is granted a separate agreement and fee payable by the other person may apply.  Without obligation to do so, we reserve the right to provide a copy of the report or to any other person or body.

An application for an inspection may be rejected at the Building Consultants discretion, including issues arising from conditions beyond reasonable control of the Building Consultant, including but not limited to: labour shortage, transportation unavailable or breakdown, fuel shortages, industrial disputes or disturbance, accidents, sickness, inclement weather conditions, the property is unsafe, no property excess, and the like, for which the Building Consultant shall not be liable.

The customer/client formally acknowledges and accepts that where a request to proceed with the inspection is received without the formal acknowledgement of the inspection agreement, the inspection will be carried out in accordance within the terms and conditions of this agreement.

SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION & REPORT

Building Inspections are based on visual observation and assessment of the condition of the nominated property or specified building item/s to identify major defects and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the property or item/s assessed, and/or quality of work, at the time of the inspection.  Unless otherwise specifically specified under “Type of Inspection” and Scope of Works Requested” the inspection of the subject building or item is assessed in the context of its age, type and general expectations of similar buildings or item/s that are in reasonable condition and having been adequately maintained over the life of the building or building element/s.  The assessment is also compared with buildings and/or building items that were constructed in accordance with the general accepted practice at the time of construction and which have been maintained such that there has been no significant loss of strength and serviceability. 

Building Inspections provide invaluable expert information and advice, they do not cover everything.  For example, the consultant normally would not check the adequacy or condition of footings below ground, concealed damp-proof courses, electrical installation, gas installation, concealed plumbing & drainage, concealed water tanks, sewer or septic systems, air-conditioning, swimming pool and equipment, pool fencing, operation of fireplaces and chimneys, alarm system, intercom, soft floor covering, appliances, paint coatings except external protective coatings, allergies, soil toxicity, lead content, radon, concealed components and elements, mechanical or electronic equipment, landscaping, rubbish, furniture and accessories, concealed insulation.

In some cases it is not possible for the inspector to inspect inside concealed floor or roof cavities due to inadequate crawl or access space, or where parts of the building are concealed with sarking or insulation, or is out of reach and/or concealed, e.g. soffits cavities, behind stored goods inside cupboards, or other areas that are obstructed or concealed at the time of the inspection.

This report is not intended as a pass, fail or compliance certificate with regard to past or present statutory requirements, and not a warranty against possible problems arising with the property or specified item in the future. This report should assist the client in making a more informed decision when intending to purchase a property or otherwise, or for new construction the quality of construction being delivered.  The decision to proceed or not to proceed with the purchase of a property after delivery of the inspection and report remains solely with the client. 

Minor faults and imperfections including minor blemishes, corrosion, cracking, weathering, general deterioration, unevenness, and physical damage to materials and finishes, etc are omitted.  It is common for most of these defects to be rectified over the first few years of ownership as redecoration; maintenance obligations and /or renovation are undertaken.  It is unrealistic for the inspector to comment on minor deficiencies and imperfections in the report, however; a general impression regarding the extent of minor deficiency may be commented on when significant deterioration is present, widespread and conclusive.

The report may contain comments relating to: other building matters, e.g. engineered building elements, plumbing, electrical, hydraulics, pest issues and the like, which may be  outside the scope of this report, however, in the interest of the purchaser, when comments relating to these matters which are outside the standard report are made, they are indicative.  The client/purchaser will have the option to then engage an appropriately licensed contractor, e.g. engineer, electrician, plumber/drainer, pest controller, etc, to carryout further investigations.

Probes, tappers, moisture meters, pressure, measurement, are some of the tools which the inspector may use during the course of the inspection where from visual observation would indicate that further test area needed.  The inspector may use moisture meters to test moisture levels in walls backing onto wet areas such as shower rooms, etc. 

The inspection criteria to which the subject building is assessed is based on comparison against similar buildings of similar age and similar type and which are in reasonable condition, having been adequately maintained over the life of the building. 

Cost estimates provided, if quoted to the client, are merely indicative and should not be used or relied upon in the by the client or further parties.  The client is advised to obtain real cost estimates or quotes from the market place direct, e.g. from suitably licensed contractors and/or quantity surveyor.

Unless otherwise agreed by Building Inspection Services Queensland, the report must not be used for the client’s intended purpose unless payment for commissioning the report has been made in full to Building Inspection Services Queensland, and received no later than 3 days after receipt of the report, whichever is the earlier.

Scope of Reporting (Building Inspection):

Items of significance are reported and categorized as follows:

  • Evidence of unfinished and/or defective construction works;
  • Significant safety concerns;
  • Evidence of major defects;
  • Evidence of conditions conducive to major defects, includingstructural timber delignification when applicable;
  • Significant non-structural defects;
  • A general impression regarding the extent of minor defects;
  • Other comments.

Note: Inspections and reporting are conducted within the framework, terms and conditions of the Inspection Agreement.  Any changes required, when applicable, from the initial agreement, will be shown on the front page of the report.  Inspections are conducted in accordance with the Australian Standard relevant to the type of inspection at hand:

  • AS 4349.1-2007 - Pre-purchase Inspections Residential Buildings;
  • AS 4349.0-2007 - Inspections of Buildings (other than pre-purchase inspections);
  • AS 4349.3-1998 - Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections; or
  • AS 3660.2-2000 - Termite Inspections in and around buildings and structures;

Inspection and Report

For the purpose of the “standard building inspection” report, the consultant inspects those parts of the building or structure to which reasonable access is available, allowed or permitted, together with any such additional areas of the site as may be requested.  Where permitted the inspection consists of an assessment of the condition of each of the following areas (excluding common areas managed by Body-corporate), as necessary, for the completion of the standard property report:

  • The Interior of the Building (excluding furniture and stored items);
  • The Roof Space;
  • The Exterior of the Building;
  • The Under-floor Space;
  • The Roof Exterior;
  • The Site (within 30.0m of the structure and within the property boundaries)

Limitations

The Inspection and Inspection Report is conditional upon and in relation to:

  • Areas or items outside the scope of the Standard Timber Pest Report;
  • The inspection and report is carried out and presented on the presumption that the use of the property continuous to be used as was intended, e.g. residential, commercial, and industrial.
  • Where the inspection report recommends that another type inspection, or a further inspection, or invasive work, or another form of action is the take place then you should follow the recommendation prior to the contract’s cooling off period or becoming unconditional, or as advised otherwise by your solicitor.  Issues arising from failing to carryout the recommendations could be costly for which you must take responsibility.
  • Reasonable access, e.g. crawl space minimum requirements roof space: 600x600mm, sub-floor space: 400mm for timber floors and 500mm for suspended concrete floors.  Roof exterior accessible from a 3.6m ladder, as indicated by AS4349.
  • Mould (mildew) is excluded from the inspection.
  • The inspector will conduct a non-invasive visual inspection to areas with safe and reasonable access.  Where safe and reasonable access can not be provided they are excluded from the report and do not form part of the inspection.
  • Building damage, as defined in this agreement, will be reported on provided the damage is not concealed or obstructed.
  • Asbestos: The client must acknowledge that houses built between 1940 and 1990 may contains materials that contain asbestos.  No inspection for the presence or absence of asbestos will be carried out or reported on.  Should during the course of the inspection materials containing asbestos happened to be noticed then a comment may be included in the general section of the report.  Although, the use of building materials containing asbestos for use in the Queensland residential building industry was banned in 1984, stocked piled material may have been used after that date, hence the 1990 date.
  • 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 Magnisite Flooring is present and/or seek advice from a structural engineer.
  • Matters which are not within the consultant’s expertise;
  • Matters which are solely regulated by statute.
  • The report is not a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building in the future.
  • Information provided by the person, the employees or agents of the person requesting the report;
  • The assessment of any apparent defect including rising damp and leaks, the detection of which may be subject to prevailing weather conditions, as well as the length of time a property has remained vacant;
  • Whether or not services have been used for some time prior to an inspection being carried out will affect the detection of leaks and other defects.  For example, in the case of a shower enclosure, the absence of any dampness at the time of inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak after normal use is restored;
  • Apparent concealment of possible defects; or
  • Any other factor limiting the preparation of the report.

Immediate implementations of recommendation/s in the report are strongly encouraged.

 

TIMBER PEST INSPECTIONS

TYPE OF INSPECTION

Where the inspection request is for a Timber Pest Inspection (termite, wood borers & fungal decay) references to timber pest inspections within this agreement will apply.  

THIRD PARTY DISCLAIMER

The report is solely for the use and benefit of the client whose name appears on the front of the timber pest inspection report.  The inspector is not liable for any third party reliance or use of this report.  Unless authorised under Legislation, the report may not be provided or sold to any other person without our written consent.  Where consent is granted a separate agreement and fee payable by the other person may apply.  Without obligation to do so, we reserve the right to sell or provide a copy of the report or to any other person or body.

An application for an inspection may be rejected at the Timber Pest Consultants discretion, including issues arising from conditions beyond reasonable control of the Consultant, including but not limited to: labour shortage, transportation unavailable or breakdown, fuel shortages, industrial disputes or disturbance, accidents, sickness, inclement weather conditions, the property is unsafe, no property excess, and the like, for which the Consultant shall not be liable.

The customer/client formally acknowledges and accepts that where a request to proceed with the inspection is received without the formal acknowledgement of the inspection agreement, the inspection will be carried out in accordance within the terms and conditions of this agreement. 

SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION & REPORT

The Inspection comprises of a visual assessment of the property or property component/s, nominated by you and as accepted by the timber pest consultant, for the purpose of identifying timber pest issues evident and visible at the time of the inspection.  Timber pest inspections are carried out in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard:

  • AS 4349.3-1998 - Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections.

Inspection and Report

The Standard Timber Pest Report is not intended as a certificate of building compliance measured against any building regulation, law or building code and the like. 

For the purpose of the standard timber pest inspection report, the consultant inspects those parts of the building or structure to which reasonable access is available, allowed or permitted, together with any such additional areas of the site as may be requested.  Where permitted the inspection consists of an assessment of the condition of each of the following areas, as necessary, for the completion of the standard timber pest report:

  • The Interior of the Building (excluding furniture and stored items);
  • The Roof Space;
  • The Exterior of the Building;
  • The Under-floor Space;
  • The Site (within 50.0m of the structure and within the property boundaries).

 

Timber Pest Inspections

Timber Pest Reports provides invaluable expert information and advice, they do not cover everything.  Inspections typically consist of a non-invasive visual inspection and are restricted to those parts of the property to which reasonable access is available and granted at the time of the inspection.  The inspection does not include any invasive inspection work, therefore: dismantling, breaking apart, drilling, cutting, or moving objects and stored goods, insulation, sarking, roofing, cladding, wall and floor covering,  air-condition units and ducting, paving, builder’s debris, appliances, fittings and fixtures, personal possessions, digging, vegetation, soil moving, nor accessing chemically treated confined subfloor spaces, and the like.    

In many cases it is not possible for the inspector to inspect inside concealed walls, roof frames without adequate crawl or access space or concealed with sarking or insulation, inside soffits, concealed floor structure, behind stored goods inside cupboards, or other areas that are obstructed or concealed at the time of the inspection. 

Probes, tappers and moisture meters are some of the tools which the inspector may use during the course of the inspection where from visual observation would indicate that further test area needed.  The inspector may use moisture meters to test moisture levels in walls backing onto wet areas such as shower rooms, etc.

The inspection and inspection report will report on the discovery or non-discovery on termite infestation and/or damaged caused by termite infestation for subterranean and damp-wood termites, wood borers to seasoned timber, and fungal decay.

The inspection will report on the presence or evidence of termite treatment that have been observed at the time of the inspection.  It is strongly recommended that you obtain a statement from the owner of the property as to any treatment or past termite infestation that may have occurred of which they were aware.  When available, a copy of the statement should be provided to the inspector prior to the inspection.

Limitations

The inspection and report can not guarantee that timber pests or timber pest damage does not exist in any inaccessible or concealed areas of the property and that future timber pests will not arise.  Likewise the report will not indicate the full extent of damage caused as a result of any timber pest infestation as this can only be uncovered through a process of invasive inspection work which should be conducted by a licensed builder or other similar appropriate suitably qualified licensed contractor in order to identify the extent of damage and likely cost of repairs that may be required.  When termite infestation or termite damage has been identified you should assume that there may be additional concealed or structural damage other than that detected at the time of the inspection.

The Inspection and Inspection Report is conditional upon and in relation to:

  • Areas or items outside the scope of the Standard Timber Pest Report;
  • The inspection and report is carried out and presented on the presumption that the use of the property continuous to be used as was intended, e.g. residential, commercial, and industrial.
  • Where the inspection report recommends that another type inspection, or a further inspection, or invasive work, or another form of action is the take place then you should follow the recommendation prior to the contract’s cooling off period or becoming unconditional, or as advised otherwise by your solicitor.  Issues arising from failing to carryout the recommendations could be costly for which you must take responsibility.
  • Reasonable access, e.g. crawl space minimum requirements roof space: 600x600mm, sub-floor space: 400mm for timber floors and 500mm for suspended concrete floors.  Roof exterior accessible from a 3.6m ladder, as indicated by AS4349.
  • Mould (mildew) is excluded from the inspection.
  • The inspector will conduct a non-invasive visual inspection to areas with safe and reasonable access.  Where safe and reasonable access can not be provided they are excluded from the report and do not form part of the inspection.
  • Building damage, as defined in this agreement, will be reported on provided the damage is not concealed or obstructed.
  • Matters which are not within the consultant’s expertise;
  • Matters which are solely regulated by statute.
  • The report is not a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building in the future.
  • Information provided by the person, the employees or agents of the person requesting the report;
  • The assessment of any apparent defect including rising damp and leaks, the detection of which may be subject to prevailing weather conditions, as well as the length of time a property has remained vacant;
  • Whether or not services have been used for some time prior to an inspection being carried out will affect the detection of leaks and other defects.  For example, in the case of a shower enclosure, the absence of any dampness at the time of inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak after normal use is restored.
  • Apparent concealment of possible defects; or
  • Any other factor limiting the preparation of the report.

Scope of Reporting (Timber Pest Inspections):

Items relating to timber pests are reported and categorized as follows:

  • Evidence of an existing termite management program;
  • Evidence of termite activity to timber in service;
  • Evidence of termite workings and damage to timber in service;
  • Evidence of fungal decay to timber in service;
  • Evidence of wood borer activity to timber in service;
  • Evidence of conditions conducive to timber pest activity:
    • Evidence of poor ventilation;
    • Evidence of excessive moisture;
    • Evidence of bridging or breaching of termite protection barriers;
    • Timber in service in ground and/or in masonry contact;
    • Other conditions conducive to timber pest activity.

Immediate implementations of recommendation/s in the report are recommended.

 

DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply to our inspection reports:

ABCB – Australian Building Codes Board.

BCA – Building Code of Australia.

AS – Australian Standard.

Active – The presents of life timber pests at the time of the inspection.

Consultant – Inspector, person, partnership or company qualified and experienced to undertake property inspections.

Access hole (cover) - An opening in flooring or ceiling or other part of a structure to allow for entry to carry out an inspection, maintenance of repair.

Accessible area - An area of the site where sufficient, safe and reasonable access is available to allow inspection within the scope of the inspection.

Appearance defect - Fault or deviation from the intended appearance of a building element.

Building element - Portion of a building that, by itself or in combination with other such parts, fulfils a characteristic function.

Client/Customer - The person or other entity for whom the inspection is being carried out.

Defect - Fault or deviation from the intended condition of a material, assembly, or component.

Damage - The fabric of the element has ruptured or is otherwise broken.

Distortion, Warping, Twisting - An element or elements has been distorted or moved from the intended shape or location.

Dry-wood Termite – Termites that do not require a water source other than the atmosphere and the moisture content of the timber in which they occur.  They live in numerous small colonies.

High Moisture Conditions – Presence of moisture that is conducive to timber pest activity.

Frass – Dust and droppings produced by wood borer activity.

Fungal Decay – Loss of strength due to destruction of cellulose and or lignin by wood decay fungi.

Inactive – The absence of live timber pests at the time of the inspection.

Inspection - Close and careful visual scrutiny of a building carried out without dismantling, in order to arrive at a reliable conclusion as to the condition of the building in accordance with AS4349.1-2007 Inspection of Buildings Pre-purchase Inspections (Residential), or AS4349.0-2007 Inspection of Buildings (General Requirements), or AS4349.3-1998 Inspection of Buildings (Timber Pest Inspections).

Inspector - Person or organisation responsible for carrying out the inspection.

Installations & omissions - The element or component is subject to improper or ineffective installation, inappropriate use, or missing components.

Lignin – Organic substance that binds together adjacent cellulose fibres in the cell wall of wood.

Limitation/Obstruction - Any factor that prevents full or proper inspection of the building.

Magnesite Flooring – A compound made from a combination of various fillers mixed with a solution of magnesium chloride used as a topping on some concrete floor slabs.  The compound gradually deteriorates when wet or high humidity is present.  

Major defect - A defect of sufficient magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property.

Material deterioration - An element or component is subject to deterioration of material/s (corrosion, decay).

Minor defect - A defect other than a major defect.

Mould – a type of fungus that does not structurally damage wood.

Operational - An element or component does not operate as intended.

Property – allotment and improvements, e.g. buildings, patio’s, decking, retaining walls and fences.

ResidentialBuilding- As prescribed in the BCA and includes 'residential property'.

Roof space - Space between the roof covering and the ceiling immediately below the roof covering.

Serviceability defect - Fault or deviation from the intended serviceability performance of a building element.

Significant item - An item that is to be reported in accordance with the scope of the inspection.

Site – Area within property boundaries up to a distance of 50.0m from the building for timber pest inspections, and 30.0m for building inspections.  Site is also an allotment of land on which a building stands or is to be erected.

Structural Damage – significant impairment to the integrity or serviceability of any structural timber in service within a building structure.

Structural defect - Fault or deviation from the intended structural performance of a building element.

Structural element - Physical distinguishable part of a structure, e.g. wall, columns, beam, connection,..

Sub-floor space - Space between the underside of a suspended floor and the ground.

Timber Pests – Subterranean and damp-wood termites, borers of seasoned timber and wood decay fungi.

Timber Pest Inspector – A person who is competent to carry out timber pest inspections, and who satisfies the requirements of AS4349.3-1998 “Inspection of Buildings - Timber Pest Inspections”

Water penetration - Moisture is present in unintended or unexpected location/s.

 

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

In the case of a compliant arising out of this report either party must give notice of the complaint in writing to the other party.  In the case where the compliant is not resolved within 2 weeks from receiving the written complaint then the compliant shall be referred for mediation as nominated by the building technician/inspector.