Pre-Purchase Building Inspection
In both new and older homes and commercial properties, the best way to ensure that you are well informed about the strengths and weaknesses of a property is to have a professional building inspection. We can identify problem areas both small and large that may have been overlooked by the previous owners and to identify which require immediate attention.
Pre-Listing Building Inspection
In today’s market, you need every advantage to sell your home or commercial building at the price you set. Whether you are selling your property on your own or using a realtor, it is always prudent to have a professional home inspection. Having a pre-listing inspection can help keep your property competitive and prepare you for negotiation.
A LIM (Land Information Memorandum) Report provides historical and current information held by the Council on properties, and is usually requested prior to the purchase or sale of a residential or commercial property.
A typical LIM includes building consents, planning restrictions and other valuable information. The amount and type of information included in a LIM Report varies greatly and so does the cost. A LIM Report can take up to ten working days and to apply for one you need to supply an application form, a current copy of the Certificate of Title and the right fee. Contact your local City Council for more information.
Falcon Property Services can undertake a Council Search of the Public property records held by council and can report on what is contained within the file, saving you valuable time. In conjunction with a Pre-Purchase or Pre-Listing report, this can also help to identify any illegal works.
Non-Invasive Moisture Inspection on Request
Non Invasive inspections are recommended on any monolithic clad home, regardless if it has a cavity system or not. These inspections are usually requested by the Purchaser, however many vendors also ask for these inspections prior to listing their dwelling. Many home owners alike often want peace of mind and have these inspections undertaken on a regular basis as part of general upkeep on their dwelling to ensure that there are no transference taking place. Any upkeep that is required to the exterior of the dwelling can then be undertaken as part of preventative maintenance to help prevent the risk of ingress.
Safe & Sanitary
The situation regarding un-finalised building permits differs somewhat from council to council however the solution remains similar across all Local Councils.
Example: Your home is listed with a Real Estate company for sale and an offer is presented and is accepted with the usual conditions of a satisfactory LIM or Pre-Purchase inspection report. The LIM is traditionally obtained by the purchaser for the purpose of ensuring that the council files contain no requisitions or items affecting the property.
The most common problem arising from a LIM report is the absence of a final inspection on a Building Permit issued for the property.
If a Building Permit has been issued post 1992 it is most likely to be Building Consent and there is a legal requirement for the owner to obtain a Code Compliance Certificate from the issuing Council. If the Building Permit was issued prior to 1992 there is no legal requirement to obtain a "final inspection" however most purchasers or their solicitors will insist that the vendor obtain a "Safe and Sanitary Report" to ensure that the property is in a Safe and Sanitary condition. This report is then filed with the issuing council and placed on the Building File for the property and is noted in any future LIM reports.
How far back should a Building Permit have a final inspection? There is no hard and fast rule on this point however I advise my clients to insist on a final inspection for building permits issued post 1970.
What does a Safe and Sanitary Report contain? A Safe and Sanitary Report is a declaration that a particular structure is in a condition that is "neither unsafe or unsanitary" in terms of clause 121, 122 & 123 of the Building Act 2004. A Safe and Sanitary Report is also accepted as a Final Inspection by the Council and will alter its records accordingly.
A significant difference exists between a simple Safe and Sanitary Report and a more complex Unauthorised Works Report. The former applies to works constructed under a Building Permit issued prior to 1991 and for various reasons has not had the relevant inspections carried out at the time of construction or perhaps has just had no Final Inspection.
Unauthorised Works/Illegal Works relates to works that have been constructed without a Building Permit and are therefore illegal in terms of the Building Act 1991. These works vary from a simple deck to more complex structures such as house additions and basement developments. The status of these works can be blurred with the local council often unaware of the additions. Should the Council become aware of the existence of illegal or unauthorised works rest assured they would issue a notice to rectify and place a hazard notice on the Building File for the property.
If you are a purchaser or vendor of a property that is for sale and that has some form of Unauthorised Works it will be necessary to prepare an Unauthorised Works Application. The format for these applications varies from council to council, as do the Application Fees charged by the council for lodgement of these reports. One aspect that remains constant is the requirement to provide the council with an appropriate report on the condition of the works. These reports must be prepared by an Approved Consultant and in a format acceptable to the individual council, in addition to the report plans and specifications must be prepared which detail the works and the construction methods used.
The content of a typical Unauthorised Works Report would consist of a detailed written report describing construction methods and materials used and the overall condition of the works. The second portion of the report will address whether the works were in compliance with the relevant Standards applying at the time of construction.
In addition to a written report, plans and specifications need to be produced to show new floor plan layout, elevations and site details.
Filing the completed report is the final stage of the process and may be carried out by the homeowner or the consultant. During this stage the council will assess the report and associated plans and then issue some form of letter acknowledging the work and report. However I must stress the fact that an Unauthorised Works report is not a building consent and council will not issue a "Code Compliance Certificate"