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Why building inspectors need to be licensed?

Licensed building inspector means have guarantee of minimum competency. 

Building Inspection Council has been vocal about regulating the building inspection industry and making the license mandatory for building inspectors in Australia.

Imagine a situation where there is no need for a driving license to drive a vehicle. Anybody can drive any vehicle without any prior requirement. There will be kiosks everywhere and a lot of damage to the people and property. You do not have to be a genius to figure out the implications of an unregulated industry and the building industry is one of them.

License means the guarantee of some minimum standard. In the example of the driving license, the driver has to go through training, log in practice hours and sit in the driving test to obtain a driving license. And this gives the guarantee that a driver knows how to drive.

Unfortunately in Australia, only one state requires the building inspector to be licensed and that is Queensland. In every other state and union territory, almost anyone can set up themselves as a building inspector (Source). There are a lot of building inspectors out there who are not competent building inspectors. Some of the franchising companies are make building inspectors through a 3 days weekend course just to sell their franchises.

Most of the property buyers(71%) purchase 1 or 2 properties in their lifetime and this does not make them enough knowledgeable about the building inspectors. Buyers are not aware of the fact that their building inspector may not be properly trained or have the qualifications to spot serious building defects. Building Inspector Council has come across the building inspector without any prior experience or knowledge of the building industry.

Buyers may have to shoulder massive financial losses if they hire a building inspector who has not picked up all the defects. The scale of losses can be guessed from the research conducted by mozo.com.au. The research shows that Australian property buyers have suffered a loss of $10.5 billion dollars due to undetected building defects. The average cost to fix building defects in houses and apartments is $5,839 and $6,434 respectively. 1 in every 20 house buyers has to bear the bill of more than $20,000 and 1 in every apartment buyer has to spend more than $50,000 to repair the building defects. So an incompetent building inspector can cost you thousands of dollars.

According to Howard Ryan (Source),  the building inspector need to have extensive knowledge of the Building Code of Australia, the Building Act, the Building Regulation, and various Australian Standards in the construction industry. The author says the inspector should come from the building industry. Building Inspection Council believes that building inspectors should have an understanding of all building trades such as roofing, tiling, gyprock-ing, bricklaying, etc. Without adequate knowledge, how anyone can trust to inspects a house – your biggest investment of life.  But unfortunately, this happens every day.

A qualified building inspector will be able to back up and stand by their report in case of any conflict and would be able to resist persuasion from the agent or vendor. Only a competent licensed building inspector will be able to support his report in court if required. 

Following are some warning signs when purchasing a building inspection:

  • Do not consider the building inspector referred by the real estate agent, solicitor, or mortgage broker to avoid conflict of interest.
  • Get references from friends and family who have through good and bad experiences.
  • Do your own research, read about the feedbacks and reviews.
  • Confirm the license if available
  • Ask for a copy of the insurance certificate
  • Avoid quotes that are too cheap. Click here for price guidance.
  • Avoid ready-to-purchase inspection reports.

Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit organization that works for Australian property buyers. We provide free quotes from qualified and experienced licensed building inspectors in your area. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have compromised for profit. You get always genuine and honest advice.  For 3 free quotes, Click here

Why building inspectors have to be licensed