What Are Enquiry Reports?

When purchasing second hand freehold and strata properties (such as units and villas) it is highly recommended that a purchaser order pre exchange enquiry reports.

Examples of enquiry reports are;

  • Pest;
  • Building;
  • Survey;
  • Building Compliance; and
  • Strata Report.

An enquiry report is a specialist report or summary dealing with qualitative aspects of the property (as distinct from legal matters affecting the title to the land). These reports are prepared by qualified experts who analyse the property and recommend ways to improve the property if and when required.

Who Orders These Reports?

Adams & Partners Lawyers can order the reports on your behalf. We have a panel of experts that we utilise to prepare all of our reports.

Why Order Enquiry Reports?

As enquiry reports deal with the quality of the property the reports should identify any issues affecting the property, particularly those which may not be identified by an untrained eye. Accordingly some of the key reasons to order enquiry reports are as follows:

  1. Buyer Beware “Caveat Emptor”: As a principle, any problems relating to the quality of the property are at the risk of the incoming buyer (known as “Caveat Emptor”).
  2. Saving Money: Given reports identify problems which may be costly to rectify, the knowledge brought about by that report may influence your decision regarding your decision to purchase or the price to offer;
  3. Negotiation Point: A purchaser has a degree of negotiation power and as such adverse matters raised in the reports may assist in seeking rectification work to be undertaken or alternatively for a negotiation of the price.
  4. Awareness Of Issues – Strategies For Prevention Of Future Issues: The report may raise issues which may encourage you to invest in a protection measure.
  5. Verification: Reports may verify your thoughts or concerns based on your own inspections of the property. If anything this should be a call to action.
  6. Spreading Of Risk – Rely On The Experts To Get It Right: Professionals have an obligation to act with due care, skill and diligence when acting for someone in their professional capacity. If you are not an expert in an area (and most people aren’t experts in all areas) then rely upon an expert.

What Is A Pest Report?

A pest report is an inspection carried out by a licensed inspector in accordance with relevant Australian Standards. A pest report will investigate the property for the presence of termites, fungal decay, wood borers and any other timber destroying pests or pest infestations. The report will also outline conditions in the property that are conducive to future pest attack. If relevant, the report may recommend treatment options that will help guard against, or prevent future pest attack.

What Is A Building Report?

A building report outlines the visual condition and structural condition of the improvements on the property. The areas inspected include (subject to accessibility) the interior of the building, the exterior of the building, roof space, under-floor space, roof exterior and general landscape. A building report will advise of any significant building defects, problems or flaws including, problems with damp and the structure issues of the property. When reading the report, the age of the property should be taken into account. Please also note that from January 2004, your Building Inspector must also be licensed with the Office of Fair Trading.

What Is A Survey?

A survey is a report obtained to check the position of the house and any other improvements on the property and its boundaries. It is also obtained to confirm matters such as whether the house is built within the boundaries set by council, the fence alignment and whether there are any issues with encroachments on or by the property.

What Is A Building Compliance Certificate?

A Building Compliance Certificate is carried out by the Local Council and will confirm if the house and any other improvements on the property are built in accordance with Council rules, and if not whether Council requires the improvements to be rectified or removed.

What Is A Strata Report?

A strata report is a report obtained when you are buying a strata property (ie. a flat, unit or townhouse). A strata report will disclose the records of the owners corporation such as:-

  1. The strata roll: This shows details of the owner of each lot, name of managing agent, insurance details, by-laws, unit entitlements and other general information;
  2. General records: such as notices, minutes of meetings, accounting records, financial statements, records of books, levies and state of the Owners Corporation accounts and notices of meetings.

This report will give you valuable information in relation to past and future costs related to the property.

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