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New law around home inspections

19 Jan 2015

The imminent publication of the draft Property Practitioner’s Bill (PPB) is a game changer for the small but fast-growing South African home inspection industry. 

The imminent publication of the draft Property Practitioner’s Bill (PPB) is a game changer for the small but fast-growing South African home inspection industry.

The PPB is expected to give a massive boost to the local home inspection industry and, in doing so, create up to 10 000 new jobs in the private and public sectors.

Bryan Chaplog CEO of the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has announced that home inspectors will be regulated under the new Property Practitioner’s Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which is to replace the EAAB. Estate agents will also be regulated by the PPRA.

Consumer rights of the home buying public will also be effectively protected by the PPRA. Sections of the Consumer Protection Act dealing with property sales will be repealed, and protection for property consumers will be provided by the PPRA. This will be achieved by requiring estate agents to recommend a home inspection to all prospective home buyers. By advising buyers to get a home inspection, most of the uncertainty of buying a used home voetstoots (as is) will be removed.

According to John Graham, principal of the South African Home Inspection Training Academy (SAHITA), regulation of the home inspection industry is long overdue and is to be welcomed. However, to regulate home inspectors, it will be necessary to define the role of a home inspector and to prescribe minimum qualifications for home inspectors.

Graham says SAHITA is working with training experts to ensure that the existing 34-module online SAHITA training course meets the standards, which will be required by the PPB and is properly accredited.

The SAHITA course content is the only home inspection course currently available that has specifically been designed to address all aspects of the South African home building envelope.

Apart from home inspection theory, SAHITA will also train student home inspectors in the use of a custom SAHITA software application, which was designed for home inspectors to complete an inspection quickly and accurately, using a tablet or smartphone.

He says the use of this app will provide the tool for home inspectors to produce reports of a consistent high standard.

SAHITA will also offer specialised inspection apps designed to be used by public and corporate sector home inspectors - employed by insurance companies and by municipalities, the Department of Human Settlements and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC).

With the advent of the PPB, SAHITA expects the property inspection industry to grow rapidly and to become a major job creator in South Africa. 

Graham says market penetration overseas is high; in North America, 80% of home buyers commission a home inspection. The home inspection industry suits both large franchise operations and small one-man home inspection businesses. 

“Overhead costs to run a home inspection business are exceptionally low. For this reason, home inspection has long been recognised as one of the fastest growing areas for entrepreneurs.”
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