Some vendors purposely cover-up defects in order to offload a house that has problems. In other cases builders perform cheap and nasty renovations hoping to profit from a quick turn-around. At Melbourne House Check we see first-hand these cover-ups and bad quality renovations and believe that it is vital not to assume that all is well when considering a house to purchase. That’s why we highly recommend having a building and pest inspection prior to purchase by a trained professional.
This article is the first of many that will un-cover possible house defect cover-ups that you need to know about before you buy. Here are three.
- Locked Garages or Rooms
Locked garages or rooms is one of the most common cover-ups. The agent may advise that the keys have not been supplied and that they will be available at the next inspection. There have been many documented cases where buyers have bought houses without getting access to part of the house, to find after settlement that there are major structural defects. Be warned that no access to any part of the house is not acceptable.
- Newly Plastered Ceilings below upstairs bathrooms.
One of the most common house defects is a leaking shower. In cases where the shower is on the ground floor it is often disregarded and ignored, however when the shower is upstairs and the leak has begun to show through the plastered ceiling below, it cannot be ignored any longer. Because it is such an expensive issue to rectify, ceilings are sometimes patched and painted over, and sometimes the showers are not used during the marketing campaign preventing further leaking and ultimately exposing the problem. It is important to establish whether upstairs showers are leaking and inspecting the ceiling below is often a good starting point.
- Recent Renovations have occurred yet there is no mention of them on the section 32.
Illegal building work is a huge problem for buyers today. We see TV programs encouraging do it yourself renovations and not enough respect is given to the correct procedures complying with building regulations and commissioning registered building practitioners. When structural building alterations have been conducted in a house that you are considering and it has not been documented on the contract, further questions need to be asked. Most councils can clarify whether the correct documentation has been sort. Don’t take the risk of the council issuing a notice to you after settlement, as this could be costly and removal of illegal building work can be enforced.