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Should I get a pre purchase building and pest inspection on an apartment in Perth?

With a large number of apartments available or under construction in Perth, todays’ buyers have a lot of choice. If you are considering buying a new apartment or an established apartment, you want to make sure that you are protecting your investment. There are different types of home building inspection and most commonly for buyers is to add a requirement in the offer for a pre purchase structural inspection report. Another very common pre-purchase inspection is a termite inspection report. Most buyers in Perth will obtain both a pre-purchase structural building inspection and termite inspection report.

It might be tempting when you are buying an apartment in Perth to think that a pre-purchase building inspection is not required and that you can skip this step. It is true that various building inspection have already been conducted, but you may want to get an in depended thorough inspection of the interior of the apartment to make sure everything is compliant with the Australia Standard 4349. Here is what is included in an apartment inspection and why it’s important to get one before settlement.

What is involved in an apartment inspection?

A pre purchase building and pest inspection on an apartment in Perth is a very detailed walk through of the interior space of your apartment. The building inspector will go through each room in your space and check for a number of things. In the kitchen, the home inspector will check the plumbing, electrical outlets and switches, and overall construction quality. In the bathrooms, the home inspector will look for plumbing installation issues, evidence of water damage or leaking that may have started or has been resolved, and will check for water flow. In the rest of your apartment, the building inspector will check windows and doors and the ceiling for evidence of leaking, and will check the structural integrity of the interior walls. A really good building inspector will perform a thermal imaging scan of your apartment and let you know where there is heat loss throughout the unit so you can ask your vendor to fix those issues for you. Another part of the apartment inspection is a thorough check of the ventilation systems. While the home inspector can only check your particular ventilation system, it is important to ensure good air quality and circulation is present in your unit. A building inspection report will be provided detailing all findings.

What is not included in an apartment inspection?

Because a home inspector is limited to just your particular unit, there are a number of things that cannot be checked and included in the apartment inspection. These typically include common areas such as pools, gyms or workout rooms, lobbies, elevators, stairwells, storage areas, or the roof. What’s more, while you have a right to bring in a home inspector to check the unit of interest to you, the home inspector will not have access to the overall mechanical structures including the closed off electrical systems, security systems, and other devices. Inspectors can test the outlets throughout the building, but this is not comprehensive and is more to ensure that the electricity is intact. While checking appliances is not typically part of a home inspection for an apartment, or freestanding house for that matter, potential owners can ask for the appliances to be cross referenced for recalls to ensure there are no safety issues with the appliances.

When should I get an apartment inspection?

Before you are considering making an offer to purchase an apartment, you should contact a home inspector or a structural engineer and discuss your specific requirements. Some home inspectors only inspect freestanding houses, while others specialise in apartment inspection. When speaking to a building inspector about an apartment inspection, ask them what they will and will not inspect. Also ask to see a sample building inspection report and applicable inspection agreement.

If your apartment is more than 5 years old, you will definitely want to consider hiring a building inspector. If you are working with a real estate agent or a rental agent, you might want to ask them if they have any concerns about the building you are interested in; if they are working for you and not the developer, they should be able to give you a clear indication of any red flags they have heard about or seen for themselves while showing the building to other potential tenants. Even if your apartment is newer, you still might want to opt for an inspection because new buildings have certain warranties that would cover any issues that could be discovered, and you can negotiate those rectifications as part of your rental or lease agreement.

You should expect to find some minor issues: paint, flooring, and tiling, but otherwise, the structure, the electrical and the plumbing should be intact and in good working order so that you can move in and start enjoying your new home (image courtesy of

If you have any questions, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and to obtain a free quote.

Rotaru Building Consultants

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