The pre inspection before settlement – also called as a pre-settlement inspection – is an important process before you take possession of a property. The topic of pre inspection before settlement comes up in conveyancing matters and property law matters. It refers to the inspection which is carried out just a few days before settlement.
The aim of this article is to discuss what pre inspection before settlement means, and discuss its importance and what are some things to consider for pre inspection before settlement. Importantly, a pre inspection before settlement is especially required when someone has been living in the house prior to the day you take possession of the house.
A pre inspection before settlement allows you to thoroughly check whether the property is in good condition, or if there are some repairs which need to be made before you take possession of the property.
Notably, the two terms of ‘vendor’ and ‘purchaser’ are used to refer to the person selling the property, and the person buying the property respectively.
When To Carry Out Pre Inspection Before Settlement?
Different states of Australia have different laws in relation to the pre-settlement inspection. In some places like South Australia, the legislation states that a pre inspection before settlement is to be conducted only if it is so mentioned in the contract.
However, most state legislations highlight that a pre inspection before settlement should be carried out at a “reasonable time” during the days/weeks preceding the settlement. Many people try and avoid the pre-settlement inspection because it is not mandatory. However, it is very important to do so before settlement.
It might also be beneficial to carry out the inspection early on, so as to ensure that there is ample of time to make necessary repairs before settlement day approaches.
Why Is The Inspection Important?
After the contracts have been exchanged between the vendor and purchaser, it takes more than 30 to 90 days for the settlement to be finalised. Naturally, the condition of the property will not be the same as when it was when contracts were exchanged.
In fact, sometimes there are major problems which may arise during this period. This could include things like leakage, a big hole in the wall, issues with the ceiling or floors, etc. For such matters it is important for the purchaser to raise these points with the vendor before finalising settlement.
Moreover, apart from contract conditions, another important thing which needs to be checked is contract obligations. Read on to find out more about contract obligations. If any conditions/obligations within the sale of contract have not been met, it is the responsibility of the vendor to make all required changes.
What Should You Check During Pre Inspection Before Settlement?
If your initial inspection was several weeks or months ago, you must ensure that you carry out a pre inspection before settlement properly. There are some common things which you can keep an eye out for. These include:
- plumbing and pipes
- lighting and all other electronics
- air conditioners and heaters
- water heaters and geysers in washrooms
- windows and glass
- curtain and blinds
- check for pests
- smoke alarms
- door handles and locks
- pool and spa filters
Checking for significant damages is very important during the inspection. If you fail to check properly, you will incur unnecessary costs after you move into the property.
Importantly, when you attend the inspection, you also need to take the contract of sale with you. The contract of sale will contain information about all inclusions and exclusions. These form a part of contract obligations.
Inclusions are all the items which the vendor agreed to leave behind in the house. This could include furniture, electronics, or any other items. Exclusions are all the items which the vendor has agreed to take along with them. During the inspection you need to check whether all inclusions have been left behind, and all exclusions have been taken with them.
While the list above includes common things which need to be checked, there are also some additional inspections which can be made depending upon the location of the property. For instance, a building or pest inspection may be applicable for some properties. Similarly, if the property has a swimming pool, there would be additional things to inspect.
What If You Spot An Issue During The Inspection?
If you spot an issue with the property, you should get in touch with your solicitor who can help you out with contacting the vendor, and their respective solicitors. It is the responsibility of the vendor to make all necessary repairs if the purchaser has requested them.
Importantly, if necessary repairs have not been made, the sale price can be reduced so as to allow the purchaser to cover the costs of all repairs.
Furthermore, to check if all repairs have been made, and all issues have been dealt with, you can organise a second inspection after the pre-settlement inspection.
Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
Buying a house or property is a very significant event in everyone’s life. It is a huge accomplishment and everyone would naturally be eager to move into the new house/property as soon as possible.
But, there are many legal procedures involved, and steps which need to be completed when buying a home. Settlement is undoubtedly a difficult and complex procedure when buying a home. While this is a complex step, it is also one of the most important steps.
Conveyancing lawyers at JB Solicitors are experienced in dealing with all issues which may arise during settlement procedures. They can reach out to vendors and their lawyers on your behalf to make your home-buying experience more smooth.
With their expertise, our lawyers can oversee and handle all processes before settlement day without causing clients any hassle or troubles. We offer fixed-fee pricing for conveyancing and property matters to ensure transparency throughout our processes.
Contact our friendly and experienced team of conveyancing solicitors today.