Fred* was a purchaser of a high-end property in Sydney built in 2004 & he engaged a building consultant to provide a pre purchase inspection and report. The consultant delivered a 49-page report.
Tyrrells became involved as Fred had purchased the property & received quotes to rectify the problems with estimates exceeding $200k. He wanted to understand if the advice provided had been professionally fair & reasonable.
The ‘Overall condition of the property’ was described on Page 4 as: ‘The incidence of major defects in this building in comparison to the average condition of similar buildings of approximately the same age and construction and that have been reasonably maintained is considered to be: Low.’
The category ‘Low’ was then defined on page 10 as: ‘The frequency and/or magnitude of major defects are lower than the inspector’s expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age, construction that have been reasonably well maintained.’
Upon further reading on page 10 it also notes – ‘Minor Defects in this Building: The incidence of minor defects in this building in comparison to the average condition of similar buildings of approximately the same age and construction and that have been reasonably maintained is considered to be: Typical/High: The frequency and/or magnitude of minor defects are beyond the inspectors expectations when compared to similar buildings of approximately the same age, construction that have been reasonably well maintained.’
This sounds like a lawyer has written the report with a view to protecting their own interests as opposed to advancing the buyers interest.
Our inspection found a number of important items that were either not identified or, labelled using unhelpful & indirect wording such as:
- ‘no major defects…’
- ‘generally, well maintained…’
- ‘consistent with structures/elements of approximately the same age.’
- cracking to exterior walls identified as an ‘appearance defect…. expected consequence …unknown until further information is obtained’
Buried at the bottom of the section labelled ‘Exterior Walls’ was: ‘Recommend the area be cleaned to remove efflorescence once the source of the moisture has been rectified. Defective membranes need to be replaced.
Membrane replacement to balconies & terraces is costly as it typically requires removal of all tiling, screed bed, membrane, drainage & adequate, professional re-instatement. It should also be noted that if left, this could result in major damage to the structure.
We believe the following items are important to prospective purchasers & should have been highlighted with prudent descriptions such as:
- water leaking into the first floor ensuite caused by balcony sill doors recessed into balcony tiling, trapping water in door sills
- water leaking into the ceiling of the lounge room and bedroom 1 from other balconies.
- first floor wall cladding has deteriorated blueboard protective coatings
- detached and dummy wall tiles and surface cracking
- weep holes and cavity flashings not installed in accordance with Building Code requirements.
- patching to the perimeter roof parapet and joints in the box gutter.
There were also tell-tale signs of prior investigations into the cladding of the ensuite balcony columns, confirming this was a known problem.
When considering the statement by the building consultant of the “overall condition of the property”, as mealy mouthed and lawyerly as it is, one has to ask what is the point of a building inspection? Whilst the above scenario doesn’t happen all the time – it does happen. This is a true story.
Why Tyrrells Property Inspections are different?
- our reports clearly say what the condition is – good, below average, poor.
- we investigate the property using experienced and fully trained building professionals, all with decades of genuine trade experience as licensed builders, carpenters & bricklayers.
- all our building consultants are trained timber pest consultants which enables us to provide the pest component of building & pest reports.
- we insist on insurance that doesn’t restrict the content and style of our report. Whilst we do have tables explaining terminology, and providing background information, the guts of our report can be found in the first 2-3 pages, with a snapshot summary designed to ‘frame’ the property condition for the reader.
Tyrrells aim to provide high quality, independent advice for a reasonable and competitive price.
Whilst we often hear people asking why we are a couple of hundred dollars more than another provider, our response is simple: our advice can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Every Tyrrells report is tailored, personal professional advice. We strive to provide the kind of due diligence that a very large life decision demands.Accept nothing less.
*Fred’s name was changed to protect identity.