If you are buying residential property in Queensland, and your contract is subject to you completing building and/or pest inspections on the property, here are some things you need to be aware of:

  1. You need to organise your inspections promptly. In QLD, ‘time is of the essence’ meaning the deadlines that are in the contract are binding and need to be met. For building and pest inspections, you need to use an inspector who has a residential building inspection licence.
  1. You have to act reasonably. For a building and pest report to be considered unsatisfactory, there needs to be serious and substantial damage/issues with the property. For example, in the case of termites, the ‘risk’ of infection is not enough to terminate the contract under the building and pest inspection condition.
  1. You have the right to terminate, if there are reasonable issues. If your building and pest reports are unsatisfactory, you have the right to terminate the contract. The seller has the right to see the reports without delay if you do wish to terminate the contract.
  1. The seller must be notified by 5pm. The seller’s solicitor must receive notification by 5pm on the date set out in the contract for building and pest inspections – whether you wish to terminate the contract, or are satisfied with the reports, or if you wish to waive your right to building and pest inspections. Beware – the seller can terminate the contract if they have not received formal notification in time!
  1. You are entitled to get your deposit back. If you have elected to terminate the contract, have notified the seller and received agreement from the seller, you have the right to receive your full deposit back from the real estate (or deposit holder). The contract will then be at an end.

Please note that special conditions added to the contract may override the above standard conditions. The above is general advice and we recommend seeking legal advice specific to your contract prior to signing.

Contact Sempre Vero Lawyers for pre-contractual advice to ensure your interests are protected when buying a property. Call us today on (07) 5576 6009.

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