Beware of the recent changes in the REIV contract Building Inspection clause
Essential information for buyers and sellers.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV) contract clause has recently undergone a subtle yet significant change. This seemingly small change can have far-reaching consequences for individuals involved in the property industry, especially those buying or selling their own homes.
Previously, the contract referred to a “building inspector” responsible for conducting home inspections. However, in the updated version, the term “registered building practitioner” is explicitly mentioned twice.
Registered Building Practitioner vs. Pre-Purchase Building Inspector
What does this change mean for real estate agents and individuals in the property market? This change in the documentation is advantageous as it specifies that a building practitioner must be registered and possess the necessary qualifications for the job. On the other hand, anyone can claim to be a pre-purchase building inspector. Therefore, if your house is inspected by someone who is not registered, their work may not be as comprehensive or reliable.
In light of this, it is worth highlighting that the focus should be on engaging a registered building practitioner from the outset. By doing so, you can ensure a more thorough inspection, increased safety, and adherence to the appropriate regulations.
Importance of Registered Building Practitioners
This change in the clause enables greater regulation of the individuals conducting inspections. There is lack of a formal governing body to manage pre-purchase building inspector licenses and this has allowed unqualified inspectors to operate in the industry. This change will go one step towards giving purchasers peace of mind in their purchasing journey.
The protection this clause offers is that if an inspection conducted by a registered building practitioner uncovers any issues, the contract mandates an immediate refund of all payments to the purchaser. However, in the case of an unregistered inspector, this may not be possible. Therefore, to avoid complications, it is advisable to engage a registered building practitioner from the outset in any scenario. The investment of time, money, and security in hiring a suitably qualified registered building practitioner is certainly worthwhile.
Common Problems that may be uncovered in an Inspection
Some of the most common problems that may be uncovered by a building practitioner include:
- Sinking stumps, requiring adjustment or replacement
- Timber Decay
- Inadequate Termite Protection
- Roofing and gutter problems (e.g., overflowing gutters, roofs in need of resealing, cracked concrete roof tiles)
- Insufficient ventilation in subfloor areas (under the house)
- Plumbing leaks in subfloor areas (under the house)
Choosing a Registered Building Practitioner
Unlike unregistered pre-purchase building inspectors who lack recognition under the REIV contract, registered building practitioners are committed to undertaking all the necessary measures to thoroughly inspect a house for pests and structural defects.
Moreover, registered building practitioners ensure that inspections are conducted and reports are delivered to the purchaser within the specified timeframes stated in the contract of sale. It is also important that building defects that are found to be major are noted as Major Building Defects in the report. This very distinct wording ensures that you are covered under the REIV contract to have your deposit refunded.
Avoid Possible Pitfalls
The purchase of a home represents one of the most significant investments in a person’s lifetime. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals in the real estate business to inform their clients about this change in the REIV contract’s wording. Likewise, if you or someone you know is buying a new home, it is imperative to engage a registered building practitioner for the inspection. This decision will save the purchaser valuable time, money, and potential complications.
If you have found that dream home and want to ensure that it doesn’t have major building defects or just want that peace of mind, we have a few Registered Building Practitioners that we can recommend. Just call us on 1800-E-LOANS. And whilst you’re at it, why don’t you talk to us about your home loan too – we would love to help.
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