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What does a pre-settlement inspection involve for me as a purchaser?

03/03/2021

The purchasers of a property are legally entitled to one pre-settlement inspection before settlement date. The purpose of this inspection is to “examine the property, chattels, and fixtures which are included in the sale.” If any problems are found, and remedial work or compensation is required, the purchaser’s lawyer should request this before settlement day.

When you carry out a pre-settlement inspection, these are the general things to check:

Vacant possession

Have the previous occupants vacated the property? The vendor is required to give the purchaser vacant possession at settlement (unless the property is being sold tenanted).

General condition of property

Is the general condition of the property as it was when you agreed to purchase?

Chattels present and working

All chattels listed in the chattels list should be checked. While chattels need not necessarily be clean, they should be in working order.

Repairs or maintenance carried out as agreed?

If the vendor agreed to complete repairs or maintenance before settlement, check that these have been completed.

No new damage

It’s not uncommon for damage to be caused by the process of moving. Check there are no new holes in walls and doors, for example.

The vendor is required to leave the floor coverings, window coverings, light fittings, oven and all other chattels listed in your agreement (for example, dishwasher, rangehood, insinkerator, heated towel rails etc.) in the property on settlement. The current Agreement for Sale and Purchase provides that the chattels must be in reasonable working order on settlement. Although we ask all our vendors to give the home a really good clean, unfortunately the standard Agreement for Sale and Purchase does not provide that the property needs to be cleaned prior to settlement. This is often a bone of contention! You can however expect the cleanliness of the property to be at the same standard as when you signed the agreement and for the property to be left free of any rubbish.

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