Defects and Inspections

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Property inspectors are vital for investors who are either looking to renovate and sell or who are planning on purchasing property to hold over a long term. An estate agent is not required by any regulation or code of conduct to actively uncover any defects within a property but is expected to undergo a visual inspection and bring to attention any obvious defects. The responsibility for an in depth inspection lies at the feet of the property investor. Home inspections will vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing. A large historic home, for example, will require a more specialized inspection than a small condominium.

Patent defects are those that are clearly visible to anyone inspecting the property, such as cracked walls or broken windows. Latent defects are either not visible or discoverable during a brief visual tour of the property, but which will substantially impair the use of the property. Sellers are liable for latent defects that exist at the time of the sale, even if they had no knowledge of them. Which in turn means that a buyer can cancel a contract or claim part of the purchase price back based on a latent defect discovered after the purchase of the property. However most sellers contract out of this liability by including the ‘voetstoots’ (as is) clause in the sale contract, which means that any defects uncovered after the sale are the buyer’s problem. To continue reading click here… 

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