Author Archives: Olivia

Why get a Building & Pest Inspection?

Don’t be fooled by new developments, property styling or recent renovations.

Not all properties are equal and some of the worst defects can be hard to see, or easy to conceal.

A pre-purchase Building and Timber Pest Inspection is vital to help you understand what problems a building may have before you buy it. Imagine moving into your new home and discovering these scenarios:

  • The upstairs shower leaks into the rooms below.
  • The timber deck is decayed and in danger of collapse.
  • The timber floors have been infested with termites and require complete replacement.
  • The building is structurally inadequate and requires underpinning.

These problems, and hundreds of others are very common in homes of all ages and can cost tens of thousands to fix.

A Building report will empower your negotiations and help eliminate risk.

One in five houses in Sydney have some form of termite damage.

Sydney is rated by the CSIRO as the second highest risk category for Termite attack to homes.

Timber, brick or steel-framed houses are all at risk of Termite attack.

 

Common Major Defects that we find during Sydney Building and Pest Inspections:

  • Structural cracks
  • Damp problems
  • Leaking Showers
  • Termite infestation (1 in 5 houses in Sydney has some form of termite damage)
  • Potential safety hazards such as collapsing balconies, unsafe staircases, illegal or unsafe handrails
  • Cracked tiles
  • Damaged Roof
  • Absence of Smoke detectors
  • Illegal structures
  • Fire hazards
  • Wood-rot
  • Defective guttering
  • Poor external surface drainage
  • Flooding and Damp related issues
  • Broken roof frames members
  • Bouncy or Sagging floors
  • Sticking doors
  • Rotten window frames
  • Leaning retaining walls
  • Tree root damage
  • Rotten or termite infested Boundary fences
  • Water Hammer
  • Toilet not flushing
  • Damaged Kitchen cupboards
  • Borer and wood decay

 

What is Asbestos? Where is it likely to be found within a house?

There are basically two types of asbestos materials used in construction.

Friable and bonded.

Friable asbestos is the most dangerous and is usually found in thermal insulation and pipe lagging (type of insulation) and is not commonly found in domestic buildings.

Bonded asbestos material however, can be  found in most domestic buildings constructed before the mid 1980’s.

Generally speaking, all buildings built before the mid 1980’s will contain asbestos somewhere within.

The most common building material that contains bonded asbestos is fibro sheeting which gained popularity during the post-war construction boom because of its cheap and durable nature.

Fibro sheeting was used for external wall cladding, external eaves linings, internal wall linings such as wet areas including laundries and kitchens, ceiling linings, garage internal linings.

Other parts of houses which can contain asbestos include shower recess wall linings, roof tile bedding, roof sheeting and roof capping, lino flooring, vinyl flooring, the backing boards to electrical meter boxes, electrical fuses, slip joints and formwork to infill slabs (concrete formwork which remains in place), fences, carpet underlay, piping and insulation.

Older fibro houses that have been renovated often contain building debris which includes asbestos materials scattered throughout the roofspace and subfloor. Our inspectors will alert you to this if found during a building and pest inspection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To arrange a Building and Pest Inspection contact us on 1300 556 156.

Drainage

Why does that downstairs room always smell damp and what’s causing those stains on the walls?

Split level buildings and homes with basement rooms or lower storey additions often suffer from ongoing damp related problems due to poor building design and a lack of site drainage.

The site topography (slope of the site) can direct stormwater toward the building and into the subfloor areas. Once in the subfloor this water often has no way of escaping and will cause a range of problems and damp issues.

Basement and lower storey rooms often do not have enough separation between the building elements and the damp subfloor soil. This moisture seeps into the walls and floors slowly over a period of time, causing damage to internal finishes.

The key to any remedy involves stopping water from getting to the building or room in question and giving this area a chance to dry out.

Good external surface drainage (strip drains) are essential to collect stormwater and direct away from the building into the stormwater system.

Subfloor drainage around the room is often required to collect water that finds its way into the subfloor and direct it out of the building.

External ground levels must be lower than internal floor levels by at least 75mm and external paths must slope away from the building.

Soil in the subfloor must not be heaped up against internal walls and must be lower than the lowest floor level in the basement room or other habitable area.

Sometimes more complex remedies include subsoil drainage pits dug deep around the building to collect ground water before it enters the subfloor.

Good damp proof building practice is essential in the rooms / building to prevent the absorption of water. Brickwork must have a damp proof course (DPC). Timbers must be separated from damp masonry and concrete with DPC and concrete slabs must have adequate plastic vapour barrier installed at the time of construction. Double brick and brick veneer construction must have clear cavities to prevent moisture bridging.

To aid the drying out process improved subfloor ventilation is required. Often an active fan system with with negative and positive air flow (one fan pushing air in and one fan pulling air out) can be highly effective.

This house on the North Shore in the image below had a steep backyard sloping toward the back of the house. The home was built with no provision for site drainage. Large pools of water were found in the subfloor up to 100ml deep. A series of damp related problems were found inside the house and the chipboard timber floor would require complete replacement costing in excess of $30,000.

 

These problems are very expensive to rectify once a building has been constructed and landscaped. We recommend a building inspection be carried out on any prospective house purchase.

 

Home Warranty Inspection Agreement

For information on Owner Builder Inspections or Home Warranty Inspections, enquire today with our office on 1300 556 156.

Home Owners (Owner Builder) Warranty Inspection Agreement

To AS 4349.0-2007 Inspection of Buildings – General Requirements

And

Section 95 of the NSW Home Building Act 1989

Important: This is NOT a Pre Purchase Building Inspection Agreement

TYPE OF PROPOSED INSPECTION ORDERED BY YOU:

Inspection & Report: The inspection will be of the Building Elements as outlined in AS4349.0-2007 and Appendix C of AS4349.1-2007 except for Strata title properties where the inspection will be according to AS4349.0-2007 and Appendix B of AS4349.1-2007.

A copy of the appropriate Standard with Appendices may be obtained from RAPID Solutions at Your cost by phoning (02) 4954 3655 or by email to support@rapidsolutions.com.au or from Standards Australia.

We will carry out the inspection and report ordered by you in accordance with this agreement and you agree to pay for the inspection on or before delivery of the report.

In ordering the inspection, you agree that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with the following clauses, which define the scope and limitations of the inspection and the report.

SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION & THE REPORT 

The Inspection will be carried out in accordance with AS4349.0-2007. The purpose of the inspection is to identify major defects, the incidence of minor defects and safety hazards associated with the works defined by the approved plans and specifications. The inspection and reporting is limited to Appendix C of AS4349.1-2007.

  1. 1.      The report does not include an estimate of the cost for rectification of the Defects. The overall condition of this building has been compared to similarly constructed and reasonably maintained buildings of approximately the same age.   Areas for Inspection shall cover all safe and accessible areas.
  2. 2.      The inspection shall comprise a visual assessment of the items listed in Appendix C to AS4349.1-2007 for the structures within 30 metres of the building and within the site boundaries including fences.
  3. 3.      Subject to safe and reasonable access (See  Definitions below) the Inspection will normally report on the condition of each of the following areas: –
  • The interior
  • The roof void
  • The exterior
  • The subfloor
  • The roof exterior
  1. 4.      The inspector will report individually on Major Defects and Safety Hazardsevident and visible on the date and time of the inspection. The report will also provide a general assessment of the property and collectively comment on Minor Defects which would form a normal part of property maintenance.
  2. 5.      Where a Major Defect has been identified, the inspector will give an opinion as to why it is a Major defect and specify its location.

LIMITATIONS

  1. 6.      The Inspector will conduct a non–invasive visual inspection which will be limited to those accessible areas and sections of the property to which Safe and Reasonable Access (see Definitions below) is both available and permitted on the date and time of the inspection. Areas where reasonable entry is denied to the inspector, or where safe and reasonable access is not available, are excluded from and do not form part of, the inspection. Those areas may be the subject of an additional inspection upon request following the provision or reasonable entry and access.
  2. 7.      The Inspection WILL NOT involve any invasive inspection including cutting, breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, roofing, wall and ceiling sheeting, ducting, foliage, mouldings, debris, roof insulation, sarking, sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, fixtures, floors, pavers, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions.
  3. 8.      The Inspection and Report compares the inspected building with a building constructed to the generally accepted practice at the time and which has been maintained, so there has been no significant loss of strength and permanence.
  4. 9.      The Inspection excludes the inside of walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, and other areas that are concealed or obstructed. The inspector WILL NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures.
  5. 10.    The Report is not a certificate of compliance that the property complies with the requirements of any Act, regulation, ordinance, local law or by-law, or as a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building in the future.
  6. 11.    The Inspection WILL NOT look for or report on Timber Pest Activity. You should have an inspection carried out in accordance with AS 4349.3-2010 Timber Pest Inspections, by a fully qualified, licensed and insured Timber Pest Inspector.
  7. 12.    If Timber Pest Damage is found then it will be reported. The inspector will only report on the damage which is visible.
  8. 13.    ASBESTOS:No inspection for asbestos will be carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos will be provided. If during the course of the Inspection asbestos or materials containing asbestos happened to be noticed then this may be noted in the general remarks section of the report. If asbestos is noted as present within the property then you agree to seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert as to the amount and importance of the asbestos present and the cost sealing or of removal.
  9. 14.    Mould (Mildew) and Non-Wood Decay Fungi Disclaimer: No inspection or report will be made for Mould (Mildew) and non-wood decay fungi.
  10. 15.    Estimating Disclaimer: Any estimates provided in the Report are merely opinions of possible costs that could be encountered, based on the knowledge and experience of the inspector, and are not estimates in the sense of being a calculation of the likely costs to be incurred. The estimates are NOT a guarantee or quotation for work to be carried out. The inspector accepts no liability for any estimates provided throughout this report where they occur you agree to obtain and rely on independent quotations for the same work.
  11. 16.    If the property to be inspected is occupied then You must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed.
  12. 17.    The Inspection Will not cover or report the items listed in Appendix D to AS4349.1-2007.
    1. 18.    The Inspection and Report WILL NOT report on any defects which may not be apparent due to prevailing weather conditions at the time of the inspection. Such defects may only become apparent in differing weather conditions.
    2. 19.    You agree that We cannot accept any liability for Our failure to report a defect that was concealed by the owner of the building being inspected and You agree to indemnify Us for any failure to find such concealed defects.
    3. 20.    Where Our report recommends another type of inspection including an invasive inspection and report then You should have such an inspection carried out If You fail to follow Our recommendations then You agree and accept that You may suffer a financial loss and indemnify Us against all losses that You incur resulting from Your failure to act on Our advice.
    4. 21.    The Report is prepared and presented, unless stated otherwise, under the assumption that the existing use of the building will continue as a Residential Property.

GENERALLY

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

  1. 22.     In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email, fax or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within twenty eight (28) days of the date of the inspection.

If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.

Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:

(a)  The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and

(b)  The arbitration will be held within twenty one (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions.

The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs.

The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.

In the event You do not comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.

 

Client Initials

 

 

  1. 23.   EXTENT OF RELIANCE ON THE REPORT:

This inspection report is prepared and provided for, and at the request of, the owner/builder of the inspected property.

The inspection that leads to the preparation of the report is carried out solely for the purposes of obtaining Home Owners Warranty Insurance and often this is part of the preparation of a contract of sale. By law, the report must deal with certain prescribed matters and a copy of the report must be inserted into any contract of sale with a copy of the Home Owners Warranty Insurance Certificate.

 

In the inspection and preparation of the report the inspector is solely assessing the defect condition of the property with those prescribed matters, as are discoverable by visual inspection on the date of the inspection, to enable the inspected property to be subject of coverage by Home Owners Warranty Insurance and no more. It is not unusual for defects to become apparent years after construction is completed and the report is not in any way a representation or warranty that the property does not contain latent defects which may become visually apparent in the future.

 

To the extent allowed by law no responsibility will be accepted for the content of the

report after 30 days following the date of the inspection of the property.

 

The report is not a Pre-Purchase Property Inspection Report and it may not be

relied upon as such by anyone. Any party seeking to rely on such a report needs to commission their own Pre-Purchase Property Inspection Report.

 

To the extent allowed by law, no responsibility will be accepted should the report

be relied upon by any party who may use or rely on the whole or part of the content

of the report as a Pre-Purchase Property Inspection Report, or for any other

purpose other than the Home Owners Warranty Insurance purposes as set out

above.

 

  1. 24.   Prohibition on the Provision or Sale of the Report

The Report may not be sold or provided to any other Person without Our express written permission, unless the Client is authorised to do so by Legislation.  If We give our permission it may be subject to conditions such as payment of a further fee by the other Person and agreement from the other Person to comply with this clause.

However, We may sell the Report to any other Person although there is no obligation for Us to do so.

  1. 25.    Release

You release Us from any and all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of whatever nature that the Person may have at any time hereafter arising from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

  1. 26.    Indemnity

You indemnify Us in respect of any and all liability, including all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of any nature, which may be incurred by, brought, made or recovered against Us arising directly or indirectly from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

DEFINITIONS:

You should read and understand the following definitions of words used in this Agreement and the Report. This will help You understand what is involved in a property and building inspection, the difficulties faced by the inspector and the contents of the Report which We will provide You following the Inspection.

Acceptance Criteria: The Building shall be compared with a building which was constructed at approximately the same time, using practices which were generally accepted as normal for that time and that the property has received maintenance to ensure that the intended strength and serviceability of the building have not significantly deteriorated over time.

Access hole (cover) means a hole in the structure allowing safe entry to an area.

Accessible area is any area of the property and structures allowing the inspector safe and reasonable access within the scope of the inspection.

Building Element means a part of a building performing a particular function either singularly or in conjunction with other such parts.

Client means the person(s) or other legal entity for which the inspection is to be carried out. If ordered by the person(s)’s agent then it is agreed that the agent represents the person(s) and has the authority to act for and on their behalf. (See also “You/Your” below)

Defect means a variation or fault in material or a component or assembled element that deviates from its intended appearance or function.

Inspector means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out a Building Inspection and Report. (See also “Our/Us/We” below.)

Limitation means any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.

Major defect means a defect of such significance that without correction would not avoid Safety Concerns, loss of the intended practical performance of the building element or an additional decline in the existing condition of the property inspected.

Minor defect means a defect which is not a Major Defect.

Person means any individual, company, partnership or association who is not a Client.

Property means the structures and boundaries up to thirty (30m) metres from the exterior walls of the main building but within the boundaries of the land on which the main building is erected.

Report means the document and any attachments issued to You by Us following Our inspection of the property.

Structural Inspection means the inspection shall comprise visual assessment of accessible areas of the property to identify major defects to the building structure and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the structure of the property. The Report will not include those items noted in Clause A3 of AS 4349.1-2007 e.g. Condition of roof coverings, partition walls, cabinetry, doors, trims, fencing, minor structures, ceiling linings, windows, non-structural & serviceability damp issues, rising damp, condensation etc.

Safe and Reasonable Access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods or moving furniture or stored goods.

The Standard AS4349.1-2007 provides information concerning safe and reasonable access:

Only areas where reasonable and safe access was available were inspected. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or the space available is less than the following:

ROOF VOID – the dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by a 3.6M ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of space to crawl;

ROOF EXTERIOR – must be accessible by a 3.6M ladderplaced at ground level.

Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods. Nor does reasonable access include cutting or making access traps, or moving heavy furniture or stored goods.

SAFE ACCESS – Is at the inspector’s discretion and will take into account conditions existing on the property at the time of the inspection. 

Our/Us/We means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out the property inspection and report.

You/Your means the party identified on the face page of this agreement as the Client, and where more than one party all such parties jointly and severally, together with any agent of that party.

You agree that in signing this agreement You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with this document. You agree to pay for the inspection on delivery of the report.

If You fail to sign and return a copy of this agreement to Us and do not cancel the requested inspection then You agree that You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that We will carry out the inspection on the basis of this agreement and that We can rely on this agreement.

Note: Additional inspection requirements requested by You may incur additional expense in regard to the cost of the inspection.

 

 

 

Terms used to describe types of defects

DAMAGE: The building material or item has deteriorated or is not fit for it’s designed purpose.

DISTORTION, WARPING, TWISTING: The item has moved out of shape or has moved from it’s intended position and no longer fulfills it’s intended purpose.

WATER PENETRATION, DAMPNESS: Moisture has gained access to parts of the building not designed to withstand moisture.

MATERIAL DETERIORATION: The item is subject to one or more of the following defects; rusting, rotting, corrosion, decay, and is no longer performing its intended purpose as designed.

OPERATIONAL DEFECT: The item or part does not function as intended.

INSTALLATION: The installation of an item is unacceptable, has failed or is absent.

Building and Pest Report Terminology and Definitions

Terms used in the Conclusion of our Building Reports – Overall Condition of the Property

LOW: The frequency or magnitude of major/minor defects is considered to be less than expected for a wellmaintained building of similar type and age.

TYPICAL: The frequency or magnitude of major/minor defects is considered to be typical (as expected) for a well-maintained building of similar type and age.

HIGH: The frequency or magnitude of major/minor defects is considered to be higher than expected for a wellmaintained building of similar type and age.

BELOW AVERAGE: The opinion regarding the general condition of the building when compared to a building of a similar type and age is lower than expected. A high number of significant defects are present. The property has been poorly maintained and may require significant rectification work.

AVERAGE: The opinion regarding the general condition of the building when compared to a building of a similar type and age is ‘as expected’. A typical number of significant defects are present. The property has been maintained to a reasonable level and requires rectification work in keeping with most other properties of this type.

ABOVE AVERAGE: The opinion regarding the general condition of the building when compared to a building of a similar type and age is higher than expected. A low number of significant defects are present. The property has been well maintained and may only require minimal rectification work, less than other properties of this type.

MINOR DEFECT: A defect other than a major defect – not individually reported on – Items such as minor blemishes, corrosion, cracking, weathering, general deterioration, unevenness, and physical damage to materials and finishes, such as de-silvering of mirrors.

MAJOR DEFECT: Is a Defect requiring building works to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of function or further worsening of the defect item.

Lyctus borer (powder post beetle)

These borers only attack the sapwood of certain susceptible species of hardwood timber. Since it is a requirement that structural timbers contain no more than 25% Lyctus susceptible sapwood, these borers are not normally associated with structural damage. Replacement of affected timbers is not recommended and treatment is not approved. Where decorative timbers are affected the emergence holes may be considered unsightly in which case timber replacement is the only option. Powder post beetles mostly attack during the first 6-12 months of service life of timber. As only the sapwood is destroyed, larger dimensional timbers (such as rafters, bearers and joists) in a house are seldom weakened significantly to cause collapse. In small dimensional timbers (such as tiling and ceiling battens) the sapwood may be extensive, and its destruction may result in collapse. Replacement of these timbers is the only option available. Here we have another vital reason to have a Pest and Building Inspection carried out on Sydney homes.

Timber Pest Inspection Agreement

For information on pre-purchase pest inspections, enquire today with our office on 1300 556 156.

 

 AS4349.3-2010 Pre-Purchase Timber Pest Inspection

To avoid any misunderstanding as to the type of inspection We will carry out and as to the scope of the resulting report You should immediately read, sign and return the white copy of this agreement to Us. If You fail to return the copy to Us and do not cancel the requested inspection then You agree that this document forms the agreement between You and Us. We will carry out the inspection and report as ordered by You in accordance with this agreement and You agree to pay for the inspection and report on delivery of the report.

In ordering the inspection, You agree that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with the following clauses, which define the scope and limitations of the inspection and the report.

INSPECTION

  1. In the case of Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections and all Timber Pest Inspections the inspection will be in accord with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 4349.3-2010 Inspection of buildings Part 3: Timber pest inspections. The purpose of the inspection is to provide advice about the condition of the property concerning timber pest activity as outlined in the Scope of this Agreement.
  2. In the case of Termite Inspections the inspection will be carried out in accord with AS 3660.2-2000 Termite management Part 2: In and around existing buildings and structures.
  3. A copy of these Australian Standards may be obtained from RAPID Solutions at Your cost by phoning (02) 4954 3655 or from Standards Australia.
  4. Termite Inspections are not recommended for pre-purchase inspections. AS 3660.2-2000 states this and says that the standard that should be used is AS 4349.3- 2010. However, if You request only a Pre-purchase Termite Inspection then the inspection will be in accord with AS 3660.2-2000 and not AS 4349.3-2010.
  5. All inspections (whether in accord with AS 4349.3-2010 or AS 3660.2-2000) will be a non–invasive visual inspection and will be limited to those areas and sections of the property to which Reasonable Access (see definitions below) is both available and permitted on the date and time of Inspection.
  6. The inspector may use a probe or screwdriver to tap and sound some timbers and may use a sharp knife to carry out some `splinter testing’ on structural timbers in the sub-floor and/or roof void. Splinter testing WILL NOT be carried out where the inspection is being carried out for a Client who is a purchaser and not the owner of the property being inspected. The inspector may use a moisture meter to check moisture levels in walls that back onto wet areas such as showers etc. Other than these areas the moisture meter will not be used on other surfaces except where the visual inspection indicates that there may be a need to further test the area.
  7. The inspection WILL NOT involve any invasive inspection including cutting, breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, roofing, wall and ceiling sheeting, ducting, foliage, mouldings, debris, roof insulation, sarking, sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, fixtures, floors, pavers, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions.
  8. The inspector CANNOT see or inspect inside walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, in other areas that are concealed or obstructed. Insulation in the roof void may conceal the ceiling timbers and make inspection of the area unsafe. The inspector WILL NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. An invasive inspection will not be performed unless a separate contract is entered into.
  9. If the property to be inspected is occupied then You should be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of Timber Pests, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed. In some case the concealment may be deliberate. If You are the purchaser and not the owner of the property to be inspected then You should obtain a statement from the owner as to any timber pest activity or damage to the property known to them and what, if any, treatments have been carried out to the property. It is important to obtain copies of any paperwork issued and the details of any repairs carried out. Ideally the information obtained should be given to the inspector prior to the inspection being conducted.

SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION & REPORT

  1. In the case of Pre-purchase Timber Pest Inspections or Timber Pest Inspections in accord with AS 4349.3- 2010 the Inspection and resulting Report will be confined to reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused by subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants), borers of seasoned timber and wood decay fungi (rot), present on the date and time of the Inspection.
  2. In the case of all Termite Inspections in accord with AS 3660.2-2000 inspections the Inspection and resulting Report will be confined to reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused by subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants) present on the date and time of the Inspection. Borers of seasoned timber will not be reported on. Wood decay fungi (rot) will not be reported on but may be reported as a conducive condition for termite activity.
  3. In both cases the Inspection will not cover any other pests and the Report will not comment on them. Dry wood termites (Family: KALOTERMITIDAE) and European House Borer (Hylotrupes bujulus Linnaeus) will be excluded from the Inspection.
  4. The inspection will report any evidence of a termite treatment that happens to be found. Where evidence of a treatment is reported then the Client should assume that the treatment was applied as a curative and not as a preventative. You should obtain a statement from the owner as to any treatments that have been carried out to the property. It is important to obtain copies of any paperwork issued.
  5. 14.      MOULD: Mildew and non wood decay fungi are commonly known as Mould and is not considered a Timber Pest but may be an indicator of poor ventilation or the presence of termites, wood decay or water leaks. Mould and their spores may cause health problems or allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people.

LIMITATIONS

  1. Nothing contained in the Report will imply that any inaccessible or partly inaccessible area(s) or section(s) of the property are not, or have not been, infested by termites or timber pests. Accordingly the Report will not guarantee that an infestation and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property. Nor can it guarantee that future infestation of Timber Pests will not occur or be found.
  2. 16.      If the property to be inspected is occupied then You must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed.

DETERMINING EXTENT OF DAMAGE

  1. The Report will not and cannot state the extent of any timber pest damage. If any evidence of Timber Pest activity and/or damage resulting from Timber Pest activity is reported either in the structure(s) or the grounds of the property, thenYou must assume that there may be some structural or concealed damage within the building(s). An invasive Timber Pest Inspection (for which a separate contract is required) should be carried out and You should arrange for a qualified person such as a Builder, Engineer, or Architect to carry out a structural inspection and to determine the full extent of the damage and the extent of repairs that may be required.
  2. If Timber Pest activity and/or damage are found, within the structures or the grounds of the property, then damage may exist in concealed areas, eg framing timbers. In this case an invasive inspection is strongly recommended. Damage may only be found when wall linings, cladding or insulation are removed to reveal previously concealed timber. You agree that neither We nor the individual conducting the Inspection is responsible or liable for the repair of any damage whether disclosed by the report or not.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

  1. In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email, fax or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within twenty eight (28) days of the date of the inspection.

If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.

Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of the Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:

(a)         The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and

(b)         The arbitration will be held within twenty one (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions.

The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs.

The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.

In the event You do not comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.

 

Purchaser’s Initials: _____________________________ 

 

THIRD PARTIES

Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the Client named on the front of this report. Any third party acting or relying on this Report, in whole or in part, does so entirely at their own risk.  However, if ordered by a Real Estate Agent or a Vendor for the purpose of auctioning a property then the Inspection Report may be ordered up to seven (7) days prior to the auction, copies may be given out prior to the auction and the Report will have a life of 14 days during which time it may be transferred to the purchaser. Providing the purchaser agrees to the terms of this agreement then they may rely on the report subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement and the Report itself.

Note:    In the ACT under the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003 and Regulations the report resulting from this inspection may be passed to the purchaser as part of the sale process providing it is carried out not more than three months prior to listing and is not more than six months old.

DEFINITIONS

  1. You should read and understand the following definitions of words used in this agreement and the Report. This will help You understand what is involved in a Timber Pest Inspection or a Termite Inspection, the difficulties faced by an inspector and the contents of the Report with which We will provide You following the inspection.

Access hole means a hole in the structure allowing entry to an area.

Active means live timber pests were sighted during the inspection.

Client means the person(s) who requests the report. If ordered by the client’s Agent then it is agreed that the Agent represents the client and has the authority to act for and on behalf of the client.

High moisture readings means a reading on a moisture meter that is higher that the norm for other parts of the structure. Such high reading should be investigated by invasive means as the presence could indicate a leak or may indicate timber pest activity and damage.

Inactive means that no active (see definition above) timber pests were detected but evidence such as workings, damage, mudding or exit holes is found at the time of the inspection.

NOTE: Where visual evidence of inactive termite workings and/or damage is located, it is possible that termites may still be active in the immediate vicinity and the termites may continue to cause further damage It is not possible, without benefit of further investigation and inspections over a period of time, to ascertain whether any infestation is active or inactive. Continued, regular, inspections are essential.

Property means the structures, gardens, trees, fences etc up to thirty (30) metres from the exterior walls of the main building but within the boundaries of the land on which the main building is erected. Unless You specifically order in writing that structures, gardens, trees and fences etc outside the thirty (30) metres from the exterior walls of the main building be inspected no such inspection will be carried out.

Reasonable Access means only areas to which reasonable access is available are inspected. The Australian Standard AS 3660 refers to AS 4349.3-2010 which defines reasonable access. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or the space available is less than the following:

Roof Void – the dimensions of the access hole should be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by 3.6 M ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of space to crawl;

Roof Exterior – must be accessible by a 3.6M ladder

Subfloor – Access is normally not available where dimensions are less than 500mm x 400mm for the access hole and less than 400mm of crawl space beneath the lowest bearer, or, less than 500mm beneath the lowest part of any concrete floor;

The inspector shall determine whether sufficient space is available to allow safe access to confined areas.

Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods. Nor does reasonable access include cutting or making access traps, or moving heavy furniture or stored goods.

Report means the report issued to You by Us following Our inspection of the property.

Termites means subterranean and dampwood termites (white ants) and does not include Dry wood termites.

Our/Us/We means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested lo carry out a timber pest or termite inspection and report.

You/Your means the party identified as the Client on the face page of this agreement, and where more than one party all such parties jointly and severally, together with any agent of that party.

UNDERSTANDING

  1. If there is anything in this agreement that You do not understand then, prior to the commencement of the inspection, You must contact Us by phone or in person and have Us explain and clarify the matter to Your satisfaction. Your failure to contact Us means that You have read this agreement and do fully understand the contents.
  2. You agree that in signing this agreement You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and ‘that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with this document. You agree to pay for the inspection on delivery of the report.
  3. If You fail to sign and to return a copy of this agreement to Us and do not cancel the requested inspection then You agree that You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that we will carry out the inspection on the basis of this agreement and that we can rely on this agreement.
  4. Note: Additional inspection requirements requested by You may incur additional expense in regard to the cost of the inspection.

Are there Special Requirements / Conditions requested by the Client/Client’s Representative regarding the Inspection and Report:

Building Inspection Agreement

For information on pre-purchase building inspections, enquire today with our office on 1300 556 156.

 

Inspection & Report: The inspection will be of the Building Elements as outlined in Appendix C of AS4349.1-2007 except for Strata title properties where the inspection will be according to Appendix B of AS4349.1-2007.

We will carry out the inspection and report ordered by You in accordance with this agreement and You agree to pay for the inspection on or before delivery of the report.

In ordering the inspection, You agree that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with the following clauses, which define the scope and limitations of the inspection and the report.

SCOPE OF THE INSPECTION & THE REPORT 

The Inspection will be carried out in accordance with AS4349.1-2007. The purpose of the inspection is to identify major defects, the incidence of minor defects and safety hazards associated with the property at the time of the inspection. The inspection and reporting is limited to Appendix C of AS4349.1-2007.

  1. 1.       The report does not include an estimate of the cost for rectification of the Defects. The overall condition of this building has been compared to similarly constructed and reasonably maintained buildings of approximately the same age.   Areas for Inspection shall cover all safe and accessible areas.
  2. 2.       The inspection shall comprise a visual assessment of the items listed in Appendix C to AS4349.1-2007 for the structures within 30 metres of the building and within the site boundaries including fences.
  3. 3.       Subject to safe and reasonable access (See  Definitions below) the Inspection will normally report on the condition of each of the following areas: –

 

  • The interior
  • The roof void
  • The exterior
  • The subfloor
  • The roof exterior


  1. 4.       The inspector will report individually on Major Defects and Safety Hazards evident and visible on the date and time of the inspection. The report will also provide a general assessment of the property and collectively comment on Minor Defects which would form a normal part of property maintenance.
  2. 5.       Where a Major Defect has been identified, the inspector will give an opinion as to why it is a Major defect and specify its location.

 

 

LIMITATIONS

  1. 6.       The Inspector will conduct a non–invasive visual inspection which will be limited to those accessible areas and sections of the property to which Safe and Reasonable Access (see Definitions below) is both available and permitted on the date and time of the inspection. Areas where reasonable entry is denied to the inspector, or where safe and reasonable access is not available, are excluded from and do not form part of, the inspection. Those areas may be the subject of an additional inspection upon request following the provision or reasonable entry and access.
  2. 7.       The Inspection WILL NOT involve any invasive inspection including cutting, breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, roofing, wall and ceiling sheeting, ducting, foliage, mouldings, debris, roof insulation, sarking, sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, fixtures, floors, pavers, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions.
  3. 8.       The Inspection and Report compares the inspected building with a building constructed to the generally accepted practice at the time and which has been maintained, so there has been no significant loss of strength and permanence.
  4. 9.       The Inspection excludes the inside of walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, and other areas that are concealed or obstructed. The inspector WILL NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures.
  5. 10.    The Report is not a certificate of compliance that the property complies with the requirements of any Act, regulation, ordinance, local law or by-law, or as a warranty or an insurance policy against problems developing with the building in the future.
  6. 11.    The Inspection WILL NOT look for or report on Timber Pest Activity. You should have an inspection carried out in accordance with AS 4349.3-2010 Timber Pest Inspections, by a fully qualified, licensed and insured Timber Pest Inspector.
  7. 12.    If Timber Pest Damage is found then it will be reported. The inspector will only report on the damage which is visible.
  8. 13.    ASBESTOS:No inspection for asbestos will be carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos will be provided. If during the course of the Inspection asbestos or materials containing asbestos happened to be noticed then this may be noted in the general remarks section of the report. If asbestos is noted as present within the property then you agree to seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert as to the amount and importance of the asbestos present and the cost sealing or of removal.
  9. 14.    Mould (Mildew) and Non-Wood Decay Fungi Disclaimer: No inspection or report will be made for Mould (Mildew) and non-wood decay fungi.
  10. 15.    mAGNESITE fLOORING Disclaimer: 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 Magnesite Flooring is present and/or seek advice from a Structural Engineer.
  11. 16.    Estimating Disclaimer: Any estimates provided in the Report are merely opinions of possible costs that could be encountered, based on the knowledge and experience of the inspector, and are not estimates in the sense of being a calculation of the likely costs to be incurred. The estimates are NOT a guarantee or quotation for work to be carried out. The inspector accepts no liability for any estimates provided throughout this report where they occur you agree to obtain and rely on independent quotations for the same work.
  12. 17.    If the property to be inspected is occupied then You must be aware that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed.
  13. 18.    The Inspection Will not cover or report the items listed in Appendix D to AS4349.1-2007.
    1. 19.    Where the property is a strata or similar title, only the interior and immediate exterior of the specified dwelling will be inspected by the inspector. The inspection will be as outlined in AS 4349.1-2007 Appendix B. Therefore it is advised that the client obtain an inspection of common areas prior to any decision to purchase.
    2. 20.    The Inspection and Report WILL NOT report on any defects which may not be apparent due to prevailing weather conditions at the time of the inspection. Such defects may only become apparent in differing weather conditions.
    3. 21.    You agree that We cannot accept any liability for Our failure to report a defect that was concealed by the owner of the building being inspected and You agree to indemnify Us for any failure to find such concealed defects.
    4. 22.    Where Our report recommends another type of inspection including an invasive inspection and report then You should have such an inspection carried out prior to the exchange of contracts or end of cooling-off period. If You fail to follow Our recommendations then You agree and accept that You may suffer a financial loss and indemnify Us against all losses that You incur resulting from Your failure to act on Our advice.
    5. 23.    The Report is prepared and presented, unless stated otherwise, under the assumption that the existing use of the building will continue as a Residential Property.

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

  1. 24.     In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email, fax or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within twenty eight (28) days of the date of the inspection.

If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.

Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:

(a)   The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and

(b)   The arbitration will be held within twenty one (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions.

The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs.

The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.

In the event You do not comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.

 

Purchaser’s Initials: _____________________________ 

THIRD PARTIES

  1. 25.    Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the Client named on the front of this report. Any third party acting or relying on this Report, in whole or in part, does so entirely at their own risk.  However, if ordered by a Real Estate Agent or a Vendor for the purpose of auctioning a property then the Inspection Report may be ordered up to seven (7) days prior to the auction, copies may be given out prior to the auction and the Report will have a life of 14 days during which time it may be transferred to the purchaser. Providing the purchaser agrees to the terms of this agreement then they may rely on the report subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement and the Report itself.

Note:    In the ACT under the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003 and Regulations the report resulting from this inspection may be passed to the purchaser as part of the sale process providing it is carried out not more than three months prior to listing and is not more than six months old.

  1. 26.   Prohibition on the Provision or Sale of the Report

The Report may not be sold or provided to any other Person without Our express written permission, unless the Client is authorised to do so by Legislation.  If We give our permission it may be subject to conditions such as payment of a further fee by the other Person and agreement from the other Person to comply with this clause.

However, We may sell the Report to any other Person although there is no obligation for Us to do so.

  1. 27.    Release

You release Us from any and all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of whatever nature that the Person may have at any time hereafter arising from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

  1. 28.    Indemnity

You indemnify Us in respect of any and all liability, including all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of any nature, which may be incurred by, brought, made or recovered against Us arising directly or indirectly from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

DEFINITIONS:

You should read and understand the following definitions of words used in this Agreement and the Report. This will help You understand what is involved in a property and building inspection, the difficulties faced by the inspector and the contents of the Report which We will provide You following the Inspection.

Acceptance Criteria: The Building shall be compared with a building which was constructed at approximately the same time, using practices which were generally accepted as normal for that time and that the property has received maintenance to ensure that the intended strength and serviceability of the building have not significantly deteriorated over time.

Access hole (cover) means a hole in the structure allowing safe entry to an area.

Accessible area is any area of the property and structures allowing the inspector safe and reasonable access within the scope of the inspection.

Building Element means a part of a building performing a particular function either singularly or in conjunction with other such parts.

Client means the person(s) or other legal entity for which the inspection is to be carried out. If ordered by the person(s)’s agent then it is agreed that the agent represents the person(s) and has the authority to act for and on their behalf. (See also “You/Your” below)

Defect means a variation or fault in material or a component or assembled element that deviates from its intended appearance or function.

Inspector means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out a Building Inspection and Report. (See also “Our/Us/We” below.)

Limitation means any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.

Major defect means a defect of such significance that without correction would not avoid Safety Concerns, loss of the intended practical performance of the building element or an additional decline in the existing condition of the property inspected.

Minor defect means a defect which is not a Major Defect.

Person means any individual, company, partnership or association who is not a Client.

Property means the structures and boundaries up to thirty (30m) metres from the exterior walls of the main building but within the boundaries of the land on which the main building is erected.

Report means the document and any attachments issued to You by Us following Our inspection of the property.

Structural Inspection means the inspection shall comprise visual assessment of accessible areas of the property to identify major defects to the building structure and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the structure of the property. The Report will not include those items noted in Clause A3 of AS 4349.1-2007 e.g. Condition of roof coverings, partition walls, cabinetry, doors, trims, fencing, minor structures, ceiling linings, windows, non-structural & serviceability damp issues, rising damp, condensation etc.

Safe and Reasonable Access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods or moving furniture or stored goods.

The Standard AS4349.1-2007 provides information concerning safe and reasonable access:

Only areas where reasonable and safe access was available were inspected. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or the space available is less than the following:

Roof Void – the dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by a 3.6M ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of space to crawl;

Roof Exterior – must be accessible by a 3.6M ladder placed at ground level.

Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods. Nor does reasonable access include cutting or making access traps, or moving heavy furniture or stored goods.

Safe Access  Is at the inspector’s discretion and will take into account conditions existing on the property at the time of the inspection. 

Our/Us/We means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out the property inspection and report.

You/Your means the party identified on the face page of this agreement as the Client, and where more than one party all such parties jointly and severally, together with any agent of that party.

You agree that in signing this agreement You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with this document. You agree to pay for the inspection on delivery of the report.

If You fail to sign and return a copy of this agreement to Us and do not cancel the requested inspection then You agree that You have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that We will carry out the inspection on the basis of this agreement and that We can rely on this agreement.

Note: Additional inspection requirements requested by You may incur additional expense in regard to the cost of the inspection.

Building and Pest Inspection – Subfloor

Another reason to get a building and pest inspection…. Sub-floors within houses provide a wealth of information which is useful to prospective buyers. The sub-floor can reveal any moisture related problems such as leaking wet areas (bathrooms, kitchens, laundries), site drainage issues, lack of adequate structural support or subsiding piers/footings as well as evidence of termite entry, wood rot and mortar decay. The subfloor is where much of the plumbing and electrical services can be found. Inspecting the subfloor usually reveals the true state a house is in, and it is crucial this area is thoroughly inspected. During a Building and Pest Inspection we thoroughly inspect and assess the subfloor. You never know what we will come across in the subfloor. A building and pest inspection in Neutral Bay revealed a car jack supporting the stair case!

Building & Pest Inspection Sydney- Subfloor