bldg inspection question

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by phm, 25th Oct, 2002.

  1. phm

    phm Member

    28th Sep, 2002
    Hi there.
    Thankyou to everyone who has offered me advice. It has been greatly appreciated.

    I rang and spoke to our solicitor's secretary this morning regarding the bldg insp. The house we are buying has a problem with missing tiles. The insp is on Friday and the date for all conditions is the following Wednesday. As has been suggested to me, if the inspection shows up any problems then I would be looking at further negotiations with the vendor regarding price etc before this final date. Obviously, I won't know until the inspection is done if there are any problems, so was holding off getting in a builder to give me a quote for the bathroom problem until the insp is completed, in case there is other areas in need of a quote to repair. I wondered what usually happens re: timing of builder.

    I asked the secretary about this and, on conferring with others in the office (solicitor unavailable at the time), she said that she had never heard of anyone doing this. Apparently, all of the buyers that they had represented had simply said that "yes, there are a couple of problems with the inspection, but we're happy with it" and had never gone any further.

    She did suggest that I contact the agent to discuss this. I don't think there's much point in doing much until I have the report, however. Also there are tenants in place. I think that timing is going to be pretty tight, (3 business days between inspection and date for contract to go unconditional), for me to get a builder in to give a quote for repairs, but still I was surprised.

    Any ideas/thoughts?
  2. Shaun

    Shaun Member

    11th Oct, 2002
    Hey Gunna, you reckon you've got inspection problems.

    On Friday my other half and I attended the building and pest inspections for the two houses we are buying next door to each other.

    When we arrived we found out that the tenants (whacked out drug crazed hippy types) in one of the properties were not too happy about getting evicted and had run amuck the night before. Apparently they had decided to smash the other neighbour’s car windscreen with a baseball bat, and then tried to break into that house because they believed that they were somehow to blame for their own problems.

    To say that things were a bit tense would be an understatement, with the said whacked out drug crazed hippies lounging around the place. The inspectors got to work anyway but unfortunately they could not get access to a couple of rooms due to the rubbish lying about.

    They did find that the bathroom was in such bad condition that water leakage has probably damaged structural parts of the house frame (brick veneer house). Moisture detectors also found moisture in every wall around the bathroom and down the hallway. So structural repairs and a new bathroom needed.

    So now I have to try and negotiate a new purchase price somehow guessing what the damage will all add up to. Also, I intend to bargain for a second inspection, with the house vacant, at the vendor’s expense.

    We really wanted to get these two side by side properties, and it will make the whole thing a lot less attractive for us if one falls through.

    Nothing like a bit of STRESS in your life!

  3. Sim

    Sim Administrator Staff Member

    2nd Mar, 2001
    Sydney, NSW
    If you ask the agent about the problem and wanting to renegotiate on price... the agent will probably say "but we know about that problem, and the price has already been adjusted as a result". The only time you will get anywhere is if it is truely an unknown problem and a complete surprise to everyone.

    That being said, if you signed the contract subject to YOU being satisfied with the building inspection, you still have time and the ability to negotiate - regardless of how much the agent may protest.

    However, if you go back saying "I'm not happy with the price given my dissatisfaction with the inspection"... I believe the deal is essentially "off" and a new negotiation begins at this point. This gives the vendor the opportunity to sell to someone else - if there are interested parties of course. In a hot market this is a potential risk... there will always be some sucker out there willing to pay and will ignore these little faults.

    I'm not sure on the exact legalities here actually - someone else may be able to clarify the details about where you stand with the contract if you don't like the building inspection.

    The thing to remember with building inspections is that properties do age - things do break, and things need repairing. Just because item XYZ is slightly broken, doesn't mean that it's not worth buying. You just need to work out if it is realistic to negotiate around it.

    As someone infamous on this forum once said... "are you going to walk away from the deal over $500 worth of repairs" ?????

    Personally, I use inspections as a way of making sure there are no surprises with the property. Usually it turns out as nothing more than a reference for myself for what might need work with the property.

    However, the very first property that I ever made a successful offer on turned out to have some pretty serious problems with the timber in the roof (once the guy doing the inspection explained it to me - I could see the problem clearly for myself), and this would have meant some very costly repair work in the near future. Negotiating didn't get anywhere - the agent/vendor wasn't interested - they denied that there was a problem, so I simply had to walk away... it wasn't worth it to me.