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Buyer Beware: How to Spot Illegal Building Work

by Marquette Turner

in Real Estate Radar

If you are looking at buying a property, Marquette Turner always recommend that you carry out a building inspection before you make any concrete decisions.

Recent national statistics on building faults show that those buyers in South Australia are most likely to discover something to be wary of. Those in New South Wales are statistically the safest, but nonetheless the figures are alarmingly high.

VIC: 33%
QLD: 23%
WA: 24%
NSW : 22%
SA: 43%
TAS: 30%

Often home buyers are not aware of the illegal building and could find themselves in lengthy court proceedings or having to undertake costly repairs in relation to wiring, plumbing or structural repairs. Some of the basic signs of illegal building include:

– Wiring which has not been correctly and neatly arranged.
– Unsympathetic additions using materials which do not blend with the original home.
– The removal of walls inside the home to ‘open up’ the interior of the home.
– The building of extensions over gully traps.
– Ceilings that are lower than regulation height.
– Toilets positioned directly off areas such as kitchens where food is prepared.
– Lack of adequate ventilation in toilets, laundry, and bathroom areas.
– Staircases which do not conform to regulations.

Many of these problems are either under the floor or in the roof wher many prospective buyers cannot normally access. Therefore, get a detailed inspection before you act.

Simon Turner simon@marquetteturner.com.au

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