Final Inspections

Posted on 22 FEB

Q: I purchased a house at auction last week. I have been told I have the right to a ‘final inspection’. What does that mean exactly? Alison M.

A: Congratulations on your purchase! You now have the right to inspect your home prior to settlement (when the exchange of funds and the title takes place). The final inspection entitles you to look through the property to ensure that it is ‘as inspected’ when you last saw it before bidding at the auction. In other words the property should be in the same condition as when you viewed it at the open home. There are a few things to watch out for – do all the lights and appliances work, is everything mentioned in the chattels there and in good order? Basically it is your final opportunity to ensure that you are getting everything you bid for at the auction.

I’ve just bought at auction and I settle in another three weeks. The property is tenanted but will be vacant at settlement. What safeguards do I have that it will be in good condition when I settle? Gary W.

As a purchaser you are entitled to a ‘pre-settlement inspection’. What this means is that you can insist on the agent showing you through the property a day or two prior to settlement. Strictly speaking you can only insist on the property being in ‘as inspected’ condition i.e. the same condition as when you viewed it at say the open home, and that the chattels are in good working condition. When we market a property we ensure all chattels are in good order; if the dishwasher, for example, is faulty, we list it on the sale and purchase agreement as an ‘excluded chattel’, so make sure you check all the included appliances are working and that things like the alarm system and all the lights, are working too. Contrary to popular belief the sellers do not have to clean the property prior to settlement, although most do of course.  Enjoy your new home!

Q: I’ve just purchased a home and am about to take possession. The previous owners moved out last week and I did my final inspection with the house empty… and the place was a pig-sty!  On top of that there were lightbulbs missing, rubbish under the house and piled up in the driveway. What can I do? Garry S

A: Your agent should advise you that you do have some rights around these issues. Firstly, the house must be ‘as inspected’ – in other words, in the condition that it was in when you saw it at, say, the open home. If there was no rubbish at the top of the drive then there shouldn’t be any there now. And if there was rubbish under the house when you first saw it then unless the agent told you that it was staying, you should expect it to be removed. In terms of light bulbs you can certainly insist that these are replaced – however sometimes it’s just easier to replace them yourself! At the end of the day it’s best to talk to your lawyer – he will explain your rights in detail and take the appropriate action on your behalf.

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