How do I select the correct building inspector?
Feb 16 2016
Purchasing a property is often the largest investment a person will make in their entire lives, thus it is critical for potential purchasers to ensure that the property they are interested in is in a safe and sound condition prior to their committing to a property contract.
This is where selecting the correct building inspector becomes so important.
You may think that most building inspectors are appropriately licensed with similar abilities and qualifications, but sadly this is not the case. The building inspection industry in South Australia is largely unregulated and does not have any licensing requirements for building inspectors. In fact, there is no legal requirement for building inspectors to hold any formal building qualifications at all!
Due to this profound lack of oversight there are likely many building inspectors throughout South Australia that lack the appropriate skill-set and experience to adequately conduct an effective pre-purchase building inspection.
So how do you select a credible building inspector in Adelaide?
First, ensure that they hold either a building license and/or a building work supervisor’s license which authorizes them to supervise the construction of a home and sign off on the associated compliances. A building work supervisor’s license is not easily attained, thus an inspector that holds this accreditation would likely possess the requisite knowledge in order to adequately perform a pre-purchase building inspection.
Second, ensure that the building inspector holds current professional indemnity / public liability insurance policies. These policies should be in place for your protections as a consumer, and they also speak to the credibility of the building inspector (as these insurances are generally not available to under-qualified candidates).
Third, assess whether the building inspector holds current full memberships to industry associations such as the ABC (Association of Building Consultants) or the HIA (Housing Industry Association). These building associations often have strict minimum requirements put in place for would-be members who seek to attain full membership statuses, thus it would be foreseen that building inspectors who are full members of such associations should be suitably qualified in regards to their licensing, qualifications, insurances, and experience.
Finally, though many building inspectors may claim that they have hundreds of happy customers and their website may contain many positive testimonials, this does not necessarily reflect the true market perception of the quality of their service. It can be beneficial to invest a small amount of time to investigate their actual history and experience in the building industry through pointed internet searches, and also to read through their featured testimonials in order to obtain a clear understanding as to why people have specifically appreciated their service.
Once you have worked through the checks that are itemized above, your list of potential building inspectors should be significantly reduced. At this point you will have likely formed a clear idea as to which building inspector you will choose based not necessarily on price but on who you felt most comfortable with during your conversations. Just remember, the acquisition of your property will likely be the most significant purchase of your life, so make sure that you are very certain that the building inspector that you select is the right one for you; even if they are a little more expensive than their competitors!
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