When you purchase a property, your lawyer will look after the majority of things that need to be done during the settlement process, however one important step that purchasers must complete themselves is the final inspection.
Purchasers are entitled to a final inspection of the property before they take possession, that is before the actual settlement where the purchase paid money is paid and the transfer of property occurs.
The final inspection can be completed during the 7 days preceding the day of settlement, and ideally should occur 2-3 days prior to settlement. If possible it is best for the inspection to take place after the property has been vacated but sometimes that is not possible if moving out is happening on the day of settlement.
The final inspection is extremely important as it ensures that no major changes or damage to the property has occurred – that what you are buying is the same as when you agreed to purchase.
Under general condition 24 of the Contract of Sale, vendors must keep the property in the same condition as when it was originally inspected by the purchaser, save for general fair wear and tear. By undertaking a final inspection purchasers are ensuring that the vendor has upheld their part of the transaction.
If a purchaser decides not to complete a final inspection and they subsequently discover a problem with the property following settlement, there is no claim that can be brought against the previous owner and it is up to the purchaser to repair the damage.
What to look for when completing the final inspection:
- Check that everything that was in working order at the time of the original inspection is still in working order (such as appliances, plumbing and electrical systems);
- That any goods included in the Contract of Sale are still present at the property (such as items of furniture or water tanks);
- Has there been any damage (in excess of fair wear and tear).
What happens if there is a problem?
If you identity a problem during the inspection let us know immediately so that we can try and rectify the situation prior to settlement.
If the vendor is not willing to fix the problem then further action may be taken depending on the severity of the damage.