Rockingham building inspector sends warning on unlicensed operators

Adam MacDonald. Picture: Jon Hewson
Adam MacDonald. Picture: Jon Hewson

ROCKINGHAM building inspector Adam MacDonald is warning potential property owners about unlicensed building inspectors.

Mr MacDonald said there were several new franchises offering business opportunities to inexperienced individuals who wanted to become their own bosses.

“These invitations are often advertised on social media and that the advertisers claim the candidates don’t require any experience to become inspectors,” he said.

Mr MacDonald said the invitations were often advertised on social media and the advertisers claim the candidates don’t require any experience to become inspectors.

“Since there’s no legal requirement for inspectors to have particular certificates, training, experience and insurance, people often see such opportunities as a quick way to start earning money,” he said.

“What we see then without the red tape is an influx of pseudo consultancies of unqualified and inexperienced inspectors.

“These are people who are expected to give investors and homeowners advice on complex construction issues.

“My advice is to ask whether the inspector has the right qualifications, insurance certificates, and referees.

“You go to a qualified doctor for your health checks, so why wouldn’t you see a qualified specialist for your investment as well.”

Mr MacDonald suggested investors and potential homeowners should at least check that the inspector they wish to hire was well known to real estate agents.

He said a certified and experienced inspector could help sellers and buyers protect themselves during a sale transaction.

“Unfortunately, there’s been a rise in the number of complaints from home buyers and investors who have fallen victim to inaccurate reporting,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Reports are often vague and don’t clearly state the defects.

“They could make it look as though you were trying to conceal defects when that isn’t the case at all.

“This opens a door for potential costly legal issues.”

He urged anyone concerned about a property report to seek legal advice.

A Consumer Protection spokesman said there were no specific requirements for qualifications or experience for building inspectors.

“However, consumers would be protected under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) where traders making false or misleading claims about their qualifications or experience can be prosecuted,” he said.

“If the inspector fails to detect a fault in the building which is discovered later, the consumer may be covered by consumer guarantees relating to the quality of service under the ACL.”