In reponse to the Border Mail article "Buyers Beware on New Homes" - 21st May 2015
On reading the “buyers beware” article recently published in the Border Mail, B.I.C. believes Albury Council has done everything required by them to repair the problem. The stormwater is the responsibility of the Council and it is up to them to rectify this problem at no cost to the property owners.
The $30,000 the owners spent to rectify the problem seems excessive, when the main issue was caused by the Council's stormwater main. I believe there must be other issues not mentioned in the article which haven't been disclosed.
The article states “pre-purchase inspections also failed to find major problems with the home”.
Buyers need to be aware that a standard pre-purchase inspection is a VISUAL inspection only, NOT a comprehensive report, but an attempt to identify any major issues VISIBLE AT THE TIME of the inspection.
Unfortunately, it is often the case for buyers to select an inspector based primarily on cost – they tend not to check qualifications, industry experience and what the inspection is covering.
Before proceeding to sale it is CRUCIAL to have all inspections carried out by a qualified Building Consultant who will undertake the building inspection on site, compliances, and obtain, check and verify plans and permits at Council.
Looking at the photo, it looks like there have been some alterations carried out over the years. Had all these alterations had building approvals and permits? It is up to the buyer to do their due diligence on extensions, alterations, additions, D.I.Y, and illegal building works.
Visual ONLY Inspections
The pre-purchase inspection undertaken would only have been a standard visual inspection, and this is the reason why these issues were not raised at the time of the inspection.
A full building and compliance inspection, including Council file searches, undertaken by a qualified and licensed Building Consultant would have addressed these issues initially, BEFORE purchasing the property, and the costs would have been borne by the vendor rather than by Mr & Mrs O’Brien.
As stated in the article “unless there is something glaringly obvious, it won’t be picked up”. This is why it is important to have a comprehensive building inspection and compliance carried out, rather than a standard visual only pre-purchase inspection.