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Benchmark Residential Inspections

Scope of the inspection and the report

The Inspection will be carried out in accordance with AS4349.0 and the QBCC Standard and Tolerances Guide. The purpose of the inspection is to identify major defects, the incidence of minor defects and safety hazards associated with the property at the time of the inspection. The inspection and reporting is limited to AS4349.0.

Limitations

Complaints Procedure

In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within twenty eight (28) days of the date of the inspection.

If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.

Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:

(a) The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and

(b)The arbitration will be held within twenty one (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions.

The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs.

The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.

In the event You do not comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.

Third Parties

Compensation will only be payable for losses arising in contract or tort sustained by the Client named on the front of this report. Any third party acting or relying on this Report, in whole or in part, does so entirely at their own risk. However, if ordered by a Real Estate Agent or a Vendor for the purpose of auctioning a property then the Inspection Report may be ordered up to seven (7) days prior to the auction, copies may be given out prior to the auction and the Report will have a life of 14 days during which time it may be transferred to the purchaser. Providing the purchaser agrees to the terms of this agreement then they may rely on the report subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement and the Report itself.

Note: In the ACT under the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003 and Regulations the report resulting from this inspection may be passed to the purchaser as part of the sale process providing it is carried out not more than three months prior to listing and is not more than six months old.

Prohibition on the Provision or Sale of the Report
The Report may not be sold or provided to any other Person without Our express written permission, unless the Client is authorised to do so by Legislation. If We give our permission it may be subject to conditions such as payment of a further fee by the other Person and agreement from the other Person to comply with this clause.

However, We may sell the Report to any other Person although there is no obligation for Us to do so

Release
You release Us from any and all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of whatever nature that the Person may have at any time hereafter arising from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

Indemnity
You indemnify Us in respect of any and all liability, including all claims, actions, proceedings, judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of any nature, which may be incurred by, brought, made or recovered against Us arising directly or indirectly from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.

Definitions

You should read and understand the following definitions of words used in this Agreement and the Report. This will help You understand what is involved in a property and building inspection, the difficulties faced by the inspector and the contents of the Report which We will provide You following the Inspection.

Acceptance Criteria: The Building shall be compared with a building which was constructed at approximately the same time, using practices which were generally accepted as normal for that time and that the property has received maintenance to ensure that the intended strength and serviceability of the building have not significantly deteriorated over time.

Access hole (cover) means a hole in the structure allowing safe entry to an area.

Accessible area is any area of the property and structures allowing the inspector safe and reasonable access
within the scope of the inspection.

Building Element means a part of a building performing a particular function either singularly or in conjunction with other such parts.

Client means the person(s) or other legal entity for which the inspection is to be carried out. If ordered by the person(s)’s agent then it is agreed that the agent represents the person(s) and has the authority to act for and on their behalf. (See also “You/Your” below)

Defect means a variation or fault in material or a component or assembled element that deviates from its intended appearance or function.

Inspector means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out a Building Inspection and Report. (See also “Our/Us/We” below.)

Limitation means any factor that prevents full achievement of the purpose of the inspection.
Major defect means a defect of such significance that without correction would not avoid Safety Concerns, loss of the intended practical performance of the building element or an additional decline in the existing condition of the property inspected.

Minor defect means a defect which is not a Major Defect.

Person means any individual, company, partnership or association who is not a Client.

Property means the structures and boundaries up to thirty (30m) metres from the exterior walls of the main building but within the boundaries of the land on which the main building is erected.

Report means the document and any attachments issued to You by Us following Our inspection of the property.

Structural Inspection means the inspection shall comprise visual assessment of accessible areas of the property to identify major defects to the building structure and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the structure of the property. The Report will not include those items noted in Clause A3 of AS 4349.1-2007 e.g. Condition of roof coverings, partition walls, cabinetry, doors, trims, fencing, minor structures, ceiling linings, windows, non-structural & serviceability damp issues, rising damp, condensation etc.

Safe and Reasonable Access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods or moving furniture or stored goods. Nor does reasonable access include cutting or making access traps or moving heavy furniture or stored goods.

The Standard AS4349.1-2007 provides information concerning safe and reasonable access:
Only areas where reasonable and safe access is available are inspected. Access will not be available where there are safety concerns, or obstructions, or the space available is less than the following:

Roof Void – the dimensions of the access hole must be at least 500mm x 400mm, and, reachable by a 2.4M ladder, and, there is at least 600mm x 600mm of space to crawl;

Roof Exterior – must be accessible by a 2.4M ladder placed at ground level. Inspectors must comply with Safe work practices in regards to working from heights and roof access where fall zones over 2.4m apply

Safe Access – Is at the inspector’s discretion, and he will take into account conditions existing on the property, at the time of the inspection.

Our/Us/We means the company, partnership or individual named below that You have requested to carry out the property inspection and report.

You/Your means the party identified on the face page of this agreement as the Client, and where more than one party all such parties jointly and severally, together with any agent of that party.

You agree to the terms and conditions outlined in this agreement. This also confirms your that you have read and understand the contents of this agreement and that the inspection will be carried out in accordance with this document.

Important Advice

Note: In the case of strata and company title properties, the inspection is limited to the interior and immediate exterior of the particular unit being inspected. The exterior above ground floor level is not inspected. The complete inspection of other common property areas would be the subject of a Special- Purpose Inspection Report which is adequately specified.

Trees: Where trees are too close to the house this could affect the performance of the footing as the moisture levels change in the ground. A Geotechnical Inspection can determine the foundation material and provide advice on the best course of action with regards to the trees.

The septic tanks: Should be inspected by a licensed plumber.

Swimming Pools: Swimming Pools/Spas are not part of the Standard Building Report under AS4349.1-2007 and are not covered by this Report. We strongly recommend a pool expert should be consulted to examine the pool and the pool equipment and plumbing as well as the requirements to meet the standard for pool fencing. Failure to conduct this inspection and put into place the necessary recommendations could result in finds for non compliance under the legislation.

Surface Water Drainage: The retention of water from surface run off could have an effect on the foundation material which in turn could affect the footings to the house. Best practice is to monitor the flow of surface water and stormwater run off and have the water directed away from the house or to storm water pipes by a licensed plumber/drainer.

Important Information
Regarding the Scope and Limitations of the Inspection and this Report

Any person who relies upon the contents of this report does so acknowledging that the following clauses, which define the Scope and Limitations of the inspection, form an integral part of the report.

1. This report is NOT an all encompassing report dealing with the building from every aspect. It is a reasonable attempt to identify any obvious or significant defects apparent at the time of the inspection. Whether or not, a defect is considered significant or not depends too a large extent, upon the age and type of the building inspected. This report is not a Certificate of Compliance with the requirements of any Act, Regulation, Ordinance or By-law. It is not a structural report. Should you require any advice of a structural nature you should contact a structural engineer.

2. THIS IS A VISUAL INSPECTION ONLY limited to those areas and sections of the property fully accessible and visible to the Inspector on the date of Inspection. The inspection DID NOT include breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, foliage, mouldings, roof insulation/ sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, ceilings, floors, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions. The inspector CANNOT see inside walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, behind stored goods in cupboards and other areas that are concealed or obstructed. The inspector DID NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. Visible timbers CANNOT be destructively probed or hit without the written permission of the property owner.

3. This Report does not and cannot make comment upon: defects that may have been concealed; the assessment or detection of defects (including rising damp and leaks) which may be subject to the prevailing weather conditions; whether or not services have been used for some time prior to the inspection and whether this will affect the detection of leaks or other defects (eg. In the case of shower enclosures the absence of any dampness at the time of the inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak); the presence or absence of timber pests; gas-fittings; common property areas; environmental concerns; the proximity of the property to flight paths, railways, or busy traffic; noise levels; health and safety issues; heritage concerns; security concerns; fire protection; site drainage (apart from surface water drainage); swimming pools and spas (non-structural); detection and identification of illegal building work; detection and identification of illegal plumbing work; durability of exposed finishes; neighbourhood problems; document analysis; electrical installation; any matters that are solely regulated by statute; any area(s) or item(s) that could not be inspected by the consultant. Accordingly this Report is not a guarantee that defects and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property. (NB: Such matters may upon request be covered under the terms of a Special-purpose Property Report.)

4. CONSUMER COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE: In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, You must notify Us as soon as possible of the dispute or claim by email, fax or mail. You must allow Us (which includes persons nominated by Us) to visit the property (which visit must occur within twenty eight (28) days of your notification to Us) and give Us full access in order that We may fully investigate the complaint. You will be provided with a written response to your dispute or claim within twenty eight (28) days of the date of the inspection.

If You are not satisfied with our response You must within twenty one (21) days of Your receipt of Our written response refer the matter to a Mediator nominated by Us from the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia. The cost of the Mediator will be borne equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement.

Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then the dispute or claim will proceed to arbitration. The Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia will appoint an Arbitrator who will hear and resolve the dispute. The arbitration, subject to any directions of Arbitrator, will proceed in the following manner:

a) The parties must submit all written submissions and evidence to the Arbitrator within twenty one (21) days of the appointment of the Arbitrator; and

b) The arbitration will be held within twenty one (21) days of the Arbitrator receiving the written submissions
The Arbitrator will make a decision determining the dispute or claim within twenty one (21) of the final day of the arbitration. The Arbitrator may, as part of his determination, determine what costs, if any, each of the parties are to pay and the time by which the parties must be paid any settlement or costs

The decision of the Arbitrator is final and binding on both parties. Should the Arbitrator order either party to pay any settlement amount or costs to the other party but not specify a time for payment then such payment shall be made within twenty one (21) days of the order.

In the event You do not comply with the above Complaints Procedure and commence litigation against Us then You agree to fully indemnify Us against any awards, costs, legal fees and expenses incurred by Us in having your litigation set aside or adjourned to permit the foregoing Complaints Procedure to complete.

5. COMPLAINT INVESTIGATION: In the event any litigation is started as a result of the inspection and/or report, you indemnify us against any legal fees and expenses incurred where you have not first allowed Us the opportunity to visit the property to investigate the complaint and provide you with a written response within 28 days.

6. ASBESTOS DISCLAIMER: “No inspection for asbestos was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos is provided. If during the course of the Inspection asbestos or materials containing asbestos happened to be noticed then this may be noted in the Additional Comments section of the report. Buildings built prior to 1982 may have wall and/or ceiling sheeting and other products including roof sheeting that contains Asbestos. Even buildings built after this date up until the early 90s may contain some Asbestos. Sheeting should be fully sealed. If concerned or if the building was built prior to 1990 or if asbestos is noted as present within the property then you should seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert as to the amount and importance of the asbestos present and the cost of sealing or removal. Drilling, cutting or removing sheeting or products containing Asbestos is a high risk to peoples‟ health. You should seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert.”

7. MOULD (MILDEW AND NON-WOOD DECAY FUNGI) DISCLAIMER: Mildew and non wood decay fungi is commonly known as Mould. However, Mould and their spores may cause health problems or allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people. No inspection for Mould was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Mould is provided. If in the course of the Inspection, Mould happened to be noticed it may be noted in the Additional Comments section of the report. If Mould is noted as present within the property or if you notice Mould and you are concerned as to the possible health risk resulting from its presence then you should seek advice from your local Council, State or Commonwealth Government Health Department or a qualified expert such as an Industry Hygienist.

8. MAGNESITE FLOORING DISCLAIMER: No inspection for Magnesite Flooring was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Magnesite Flooring is provided. You should ask the owner whether Magnesite Flooring is present and/or seek advice from a Structural Engineer.

9. ESTIMATING DISCLAIMER: Any estimates provided in this report are merely opinions of possible costs that could be encountered, based on the knowledge and experience of the inspector, and are not estimates in the sense of being a calculation of the likely costs to be incurred. The estimates are NOT a guarantee or quotation for work to be carried out. The actual cost is ultimately dependent upon the materials used, standard of work carried out, and what a contractor is prepared to do the work for. It is recommended in ALL instances that multiple independent quotes are sourced prior to any work being carried out. The inspector accepts no liability for any estimates provided throughout this report.

Important Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: No Liability shall be accepted on an account of failure of the Report to notify any problems in the area(s) or section(s) of the subject property physically inaccessible for inspection, or to which access for Inspection is denied by or to the Inspector (including but not limited to or any area(s) or section(s) so specified by the Report)

DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY TO THIRD PARTIES: We will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense, whatsoever, suffered or incurred by any Person other than You in connection with the use of the Inspection Report provided pursuant to this agreement by that Person for any purpose or in any way, including the use of this report for any purpose connected with the sale, purchase, or use of the Property or the giving of security over the Property, to the extent permissible by law. The only Person to whom We may be liable and to whom losses arising in contract or tort sustained may be payable by Us is the Client named on the face page of this Agreement.

Contact The Inspector

Please feel free to contact the inspector who carried out this inspection. Often it is very difficult to fully explain situations, problems, access difficulties, building faults or their importance in a manner that is readily understandable by the reader. Should you have any difficulty in understanding anything contained within this report then you should immediately contact the inspector and have the matter explained to you. If you have any questions at all or require any clarification then contact the inspector prior to acting on this report.

Cancellation

A fee of $150+gst will be incurred for any inspection cancelled less than 24 hrs prior to an Agreed time or Booked time. This includes any Inspection where access is not available, or Property is not fit for or ready for the required inspection. Any travel fee as per original inspection booking costs will added to Cancellation fee where applicable. The Cancellation fee will be charged to the Client that booked the inspection