Inspections Basics to Avoid Claims

24, Jan 2024

As a building inspector or timber pest inspector you work in a highly litigious occupation and the trend of litigation appears to be getting worse. There is an increasing number of claims coming from breaches that could be considered fundamental basics of a building and timber pest inspection. Below are some examples for consideration.
This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Not Getting a Pre-Inspection Agreement
  2. Combined Reports (with reference to a single report)
  3. Assumptions
  4. Not Reporting on Defects Properly
  5. Identifying Defects Incorrectly
  6. Not Reporting Properly on Obstructions and Accessibility
  7. Vendor Reports 
  8. Cracking
  9. How Far Away from The Dwelling Should I Inspect?
  10. Roof Pitch

Why do i need a pre-inspection agreement?
This document protects you as it sets out the scope and the limitations of your report. It is also a requirement of some insurers that it is acknowledged and failure to obtain acknowledgement may result in a claim being declined.

Combined reports
The combined reports have had recent mentions in several court documents indicating that a combined property and timber pest report was harder to digest than two individual reports. Generally, these reports allowed for very little timber pest inspection information and lacked applicable term and conditions. Reports Systems apps allows for combined inspections, however, it produces two separate reports for the client (a single building and a single timber pest report).

Assumptions about properties in a poor state of repair
Properties in poor condition, don’t take it for granted that the purchaser accepts or understands the current state of disrepair. You must ensure you cover all bases and more importantly yourself.

  • What is it
  • Where is it
  • What’s wrong with it
  • Recommendation
  • Timeframe to implement recommendations