Pre-Settlement Inspections

Posted on 7th November, 2012

The Importance of that Final Inspection:

You are entitled to a final inspection of the property you are buying before you take possession of it. By this we mean that the Vendor cannot refuse you a final inspection within the last three days prior to settlement of your contract.

This inspection is probably the most important one of all.

The best time to do that inspection is after the property has been vacated by the previous occupants and as close to the time of settlement as possible. This narrows the window of opportunity for something to go wrong.

Things to Look for:

This inspection is all about the fact that you agreed to buy the property in a particular state (ie. the state it was in at the time of exchange of contracts). Therefore:

  1. Is everything that was in working order at that  time still in working order,
  2. Do those items included in the sale remain on the property,
  3. Has there been any damage to anything (other than through normal wear and tear),
  4. Has there been any excess rubbish left on the property.

Let’s not be picky about this; if the issue is small then just get on with it, but if you consider the issue is unjust then your best chance of getting that issue resolved is to request that it be resolved before you hand your money over.

What can you do about it ?

If you find an issue that you are unwilling to accept, then you have a couple of options:

  1. Since the Vendor is in breach of contract, you can with-hold settlement until the matter is resolved. Neither party can terminate the contract immediately for such a breach but you can delay settlement and give the Vendor time to resolve the problem,
  2. If a delay is not what you want (e.g. you may have already packed up your removalist and be waiting to move in), then it may be possible to continue with settlement but to with-hold part payment to the Vendor until the matter is resolved. Talk to your Licensed Conveyancer about arranging this.