Important Customer Information

What you need to know.

Buying a home may be the biggest financial decision youwill ever make so it is essential you make an informed decision. Knowing as much about the condition of the building before you make the purchasing decision will help you avoid excessive additional costs which may cripple you financially. The best way of avoiding this is to get a pre-purchase building report.

What is a pre-purchase building inspection report?

Melbourne Building Inspections pre-purchase building inspection reports are a written document detailing the existing defects of a building and the condition of a building compared to a similar building of the same age that has been kept in reasonably good condition. It will tell you about major structural defects, other significant defects such as rising damp, movement through load bearing walls and foundations and potential safety hazards such as asbestos just to name a few. It is usually carried out prior to signing a contract of sale so that you are informed of any defects which may be costly to repair.

A pest inspection report is highly recommended to determine the existance of active termites and/or wood borer and while the building inspection report will comment on visual damage that may have been caused by termites it usually will not include info. on the existance of termites.

Why do I need one?

There are many reasons why you should obtain a pre-purchase building inspection. Here are the 3 most important.

  1. You will know in advance if there any significant defects.
  2. You can use the information to negotiate on the price of the building because you will have pay for the repair works.
  3. You will get advice from a Registered Building Practitioner about the significant problems and how your building will be affected over time.

Who can do a pre-purchase building inspection?

In Melbourne, anyone can carry out a pre-purchase building inspection. It is therefore important that you use a professional organisation with the following attributes;

Ensure the inspector carrying out the inspection:

  1. is a Registered Building Practitioner in the Unlimited category of residential building.
  2. is a Master Builder.
  3. has professional indemnity insurance.
  4. can provide you proof of all of the above.

What is included in the building inspection report?

The purpose of a pre-purchase building inspection is toprovide sound advice regarding the condition of a building at the time of the inspection. The main priority of the report include's;

  1. Major defects including major structural defects - this is a defect of significance where repair is required to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of use or further deterioration of the building.
  2. Minor defects - the inspector will generally give an overall impression of the extent of minor defects.
  3. Any major defect that is an urgent safety hazard.

Each report will vary as the properties inspected vary. Melbourne Building Inspections reporting structure is one of a kind and are tailored to suit the specific building. Please view sample report on the web site.

Area's inspected include all accessible area's to the inspector at the time of inspection. Area's include;

  1. Interior and exterior of the building
  2. Roof space and roof exterior
  3. Under-floor space (if applicable and accessible)
  4. The building within 30m of the building including;
    • garage, carport and garden shed
    • separate laundry or toilet
    • retaining walls over 700mm high
    • steps
    • fencing
    • surface water drainage
    • storm-water run-off
    • paths & driveways

A detailed list and sample reports are included at


A building inspection report should include enough information to make you aware of the building's condition and identify any significant problems.

Factors affecting the report.

There are certain conditions you should be aware of that will affect te final report. These include;

  • Problems that are difficult to detect due to weather or other conditions such as leaks
  • The information you provide the consultant
  • the specific areas of the consultant's expertise as specified in the report
  • problems that have been deliberately covered up to make an area appear problem free


It may be difficult to detect leaks and other problems if services such as water haven't been used for some time. For example, if the shower hasn't been used recently, leaks or dampness may not be obvious.

Choosing a consultant

A building consultant does not require a licence to carry out pre-purchase inspections in Melbourne. It is therefore imperative the consultant has the following credentials/qualifications.

  1. is a Registered Building Practitioner in the Unlimited category of residential building. Other registered building practitioners such as those registered in bricklaying or demolition will not have the expertise of one registered in the unlimited category of residential building.
  2. is a Master Builder.
  3. has professional indemnity insurance.

What questions should I ask?

Here is a list of questions you should ask the organisation you would like to contract.

  1. What is your registered building practitioners licence number (remember - in the unlimited category of residential building).
  2. What are your qualifications and experience.
  3. How long have you been carrying out pre-purchase building inspections?
  4. Do you have current cover for professional indemnity insurance?
  5. Who is the insurer?
  6. Are you a member of an industry association? If yes, do you follow their Code of Conduct?
  7. Do you have any set procedures for handling disputes or complaints?
  8. Can you give me reference s or contact details of three clients with similar properties?
  9. What will the report cover and what format do you use?
  10. Can I see a sample report?
  11. How long before I can have the completed report?
  12. Can you call me with a verbal report on the day? Will this cost any extra?
  13. Do you follow the Australian Standard (AS4349.1 - 2007) for the inspection?
  14. Are you independant of the vendor or the Real Estate Agency?

Additional questions?

Please contact Melbourne Building Inspections on 1300 677 127.

convenience reportsCONVENIENT REPORTS

Our building inspection reports are emailed to you on the same evening of the inspection and you only need to give 24 hours notice when booking. Questions or clarifications regarding your report are welcomed.


Our pre-purchase building inspections provide prospective building purchasers with expert advice on the condition of the building they are considering buying.