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Brisbane Building Inspector Calls For Greater Industry Regulation


Veteran Brisbane building inspector, Andrew Mackintosh calls for better regulation of the industry in light of worsening conditions for buyers. In addition to pressure to forego inspections, buyers are falling victim to bait and switch pricing, underqualified inspectors and “get out of jail free” style report terms and conditions.

The Brisbane property market continues to buck international trends due to a shortage of properties for sale and a burgeoning demand. Over the last five years, Brisbane buyers have faced increasing pressure to forego their rights.

“For many buyers, the shortage of rentals means “signing an unfair contract” or becoming homeless.” Said Mr Mackintosh.

Lack of independence in inspections companies

Building inspectors should always work in the best interests of their clients, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. There's a huge benefit to getting an independent building inspector to do your pre-purchase inspection report. Some building inspection companies try and hide the fact that they obtain large volumes of work indirectly from the real estate industry. Subsequently, the reports they produce tend to be vague, misleading, and watered-down. The aim is not to jeopardise a potential sale for an estate agent. This then secures the inspector further referral work.

Higher standards

Some building inspection companies adopt a 'jack of all trades' approach where one inspector carries out both building and pest inspections, and sometimes additional inspections including pool inspections, at the same time. To undertake multiple inspections the employee or franchisee must simply complete some short courses.

Clarity in Reporting

The presentation of the reports varies significantly. A good building inspection report should be clear, concise, and conveyed in a manner that the general public can understand without unnecessary building jargon or complex terminology.

The building inspection report should clearly outline all the issues whilst giving helpful information regarding the means of rectification, the severity of the faults, and time frames for suggested repairs to be carried out.

The building inspection report should also be backed up with digital photography. Digital photography provides a reference for the faults and enables easier renegotiation for buyers who can refer to photographic evidence provided within the building inspection report.

Self-Regulate or Face Scrutiny

Mr Mackintosh is calling on the industry to self-regulate before the QBCC steps in.

“These practices cannot go on, it’s only a matter of time before Fair Trading and the QBCC gets overwhelmed with the complaints and regulates our industry for us” warned Mr Mackintosh.

 

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