NSW Unlike The QLD QBCC have no laws to protect you against un-licensed, un-insured and un-qualified building and pest inspectors.
If you are looking at buying a property in NSW, you are at risk of being convinced by Real Estate Agents to engage an inexperienced building and pest inspector who may be working for the agent to paint a pretty picture of a property you are looking at buying and not identify serious issues.
What qualifications do NSW Fair Trading recommend for a building inspector?
“Always use a suitably qualified person such as a licensed builder, a surveyor or an architect to provide a professional building inspection report of the property. These professions should see through any cosmetic improvements covering up faults that might otherwise be missed by an untrained eye.” – Fair Trading NSW
- A Licensed Builder
- A Surveyor
- An Architect
What qualifications do NOT qualify with NSW Fair Trading for a building inspector?
- Any trade such as an Electrician or Plumber does not qualify.
- Cert 4 in Building and Construction does not qualify.
- Any trade other than a licensed builder, surveyor or architect does not qualify.
Avoid engaging any one other than NSW fair trading recommendations. Quite simply, If they are not a licensed builder, architect or surveyor, Avoid at all costs.
A building and pest inspection is vital for you the purchaser, to ensure the property you are purchasing meets your expectations and is safe, structurally sound, and has no hidden issues that may seriously devalue its worth.
These inspectors are not licensed builders and are not registered timber pest control technicians with the EPA. Thus, may not be insured to be held accountable if they miss identifying issues such as termite infestations or structural and safety defects, Leaving you out of pocket with major building defects.
Remember This Vital Info:
The agent is working for the person selling the house, not you.
If you receive a referral from a Real Estate Agent for a Building and Pest Inspection, make sure you get 3 referrals, not 1. Make sure the company is Local, Licensed Builder, Registered Pest Controller With EPA and Insured. Read On For Tools To Check.
Why Are Purchasers Left Vulnerable?
This is due to the fact that the laws in N.S.W changed in 2009 which removed the need to have a builders licence or a pest control licence to be able to undertake building and pest inspections and provide advice (including safety and structural) for someone who is spending their life savings on a property. After this law was scrapped, Opportunists and 3 day training organisations took advantage and popped up everywhere.
Claims against unskilled building and pest inspectors are on the rise in NSW, This is Fact! and in addition purchasers are being left out of pocket with serious structural issues and termite infested houses.
Unfortunately these opportunist inspectors are working for the agent to “get the sale over the line” in return for further work.
How Do I Protect Myself or Report A Scam?
If you have been referred an inspector without insurance or is not competent you will have a claim. The good news is now with recent changes to The Act, Agency’s who are knowingly referring dodgy, un licensed, uninsured, or companies pretending to be licensed builders or pest technicians to help get sales over the line are in breach and can be held accountable.
IMPORTANT: Real Estate agencies must follow the strict guidelines for Fair Trading and must be at arms length. But in some instances we have seen agencies throughout the local area refer inexperienced inspectors out of town who write favourable reports prior to sale knowing that the sale will pass through with serious items not identified. And in return the inspector receives work from the agent.
These inspectors are 3 day course accredited, do not and are not competent to identify structural defects, miss termites and use out of date paperwork that don’t meet any current Australian Standard.
Is it ok to receive a referral from an agent?
Yes, but most importantly do this simple check below to confirm that the company or inspector has referred has insurances and is qualified. A cert 4 in Building and Construction is NOT a licensed builder.
In some instances the inspection company may be fooling the agent and The Public to think that they are licensed builder or licensed pest controller who have completed timber pest training. (Beware of the word accredited)
Checklist To Protect Yourself
Would you risk your house on the advice from someone who may not have your best interest at heart? If you were looking at buying a car, would you get the sellers mate to check it over?
- 1) If you are engaging a company or have received a report or a referral for a building and pest inspection make sure the building inspector is a Fair Trading Licensed Builder with insurances. Your search term should include the Inspectors name not the company.
- 2) Make sure the person carrying out the pest inspection is a Licensed Pest Inspector with EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This ensures they have adequate licensing and will have treated timber pests and understand the fundamentals of protecting houses against termites.
- 3) Avoid any inspectors who have completed 3 day training organisation “Accredited” “Industry Accredited” courses. Simply if they are not a Licensed Builder with Fair Trading or Pest Control Technician with EPA, Avoid at all costs.
- 4) Its best to get a two man team to do the inspection. Two sets of eyes are better than one. But again, make sure you check the credentials.
- 5) Check that the company has insurance to carry out the building and pest inspection. If they are un-skilled or un-licensed there is a big chance they wont have insurance and you will be left with no leg to stand on. Ensure the Insurance states Building & Pest Inspections, Not other terms such as Electrical Work or Plumbing.
- 6) If the real estate agency has provided you a pre sale inspection report or referred you someone, Ensure they pass the above check list (Licensed Builder with Fair Trading, Pest Control Technician with EPA & Have Insurance. If not, Don’t use them, You have a right to choose who you want and remember, The inspector is meant to be working for you not the agent or the vendor.
- 7) Ensure the company uses the right equipment to carry out the job. The new Australian Standards for Pest Inspections requires equipment to be used to further test areas and in addition the inspector MUST be trained to use it. One of three items must be used. 1) Termite Detection Dog. 2) Termatrac T3i Radar or, 3) Thermal Camera (Must be licensed in thermography)
Report a Scam, A Dodgy report or an Inspector Who is Not a Licensed Builder or Not Insured
- Contact a reputable inspection company with the right licenses to carry out an expert witness inspection on your behalf. This can be used against the inspector or the agency in a NSW Court of Law
- Advise the Real Estate Agent or Conveyancer that they are referring non licensed inspectors with no insurance and are breaching the Fair Trading Guidelines. (This will have serious repercussions if an agency has breached)
- Seek legal advice from your solicitor and advise your conveyancer.
- Contact Fair Trading.
List of Local Licensed Builders & Timber Pest Inspectors in Yamba & Maclean
Inspect Building And Pest 02 66 453 405
Clarence Building Consultants 02 66 445 692
Clarence Valley Pest Control 02 66 427 161
Unfortunately there are more and more people being left out of pocket from failed inspections provided by inexperienced inspectors working for real estate agents taking advantage of weak laws in NSW. We get calls every week from people who have found major issues and want a second opinion, Don’t be a statistic.
If you have fallen victim to inexperience and negligence or you would like to book a legitimate building and pest inspection or an expert witness Inspection for your, contact us today or the above list of local inspection companies for further advice.