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Beware dodgy home inspection companies

11 Dec 2014

In response to the announcement by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) that a proposed Property Practitioner’s Bill is currently in draft stage, Eric Bell, CEO of Inspect-a-Home, says they fully endorses the idea that the home inspection industry should be regulated. 

Before buying any property, you should hire a reputable home inspector to complete a thorough report on the interior and exterior of the property so you know exactly what you are buying.

He says it is all too easy for backyard operators to begin trading with almost no traceable qualifications, undercutting established companies with sound reputations and putting consumers at risk. 

The Property Practitioner’s Bill will define and regulate the role of both agents and home inspectors. Home inspectors will become a category of property practitioners and will fall under the regulation of the EAAB, says Bell. Estate agents will be required to give buyers and sellers the option of using a home inspection service in order to get the reassurance they need. 

Before buying any property, Bell says you should hire a reputable home inspector to complete a thorough report on the interior and exterior of the property so you know exactly what you are buying.  

Beware the unqualified expert 

Sadly, there are a number of unscrupulous inspection companies operating in the South African market. Promising low prices, these so-called experts do not have the required expertise or training to complete a proper inspection and will sometimes influence a sale that should not take place. The only loser in this scenario is the unlucky buyer. 

Bell says he has come across this kind of scenario much too often. One unlucky buyer in Durban recently hired a newly established home inspection company and received a report stating the house was in good condition. On the strength of this report, they bought the house and, after moving in, discovered that quite the opposite was true. 

There was borer dust everywhere and the roof cavity was so badly damaged that they had to call in a structural roofing engineer who immediately condemned the roof structure. The roof quote repair work was well over R200 000, but with the windows, doors, and floors also being badly damaged, the total cost to repairing this home was well over R500 000. 

Bell warns that membership of organisations alone does not completely prove credibility. There is no recognised ‘home inspection association’ in South Africa, and companies that claim to be part of such an association are not being completely honest with consumers. 

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