Recently I was called to inspect a home recently purchased that had bad roof leaks and significant brickwork cracking and it was so bad that the home had to be vacated pending roof replacement.
The purchaser was a lovely young lady, a single mother and she had pre purchase report done that stated that the roof although rusty was serviceable and the brickwork cracking was usual seasonal movement cracking.
Predictably the inspector picked up minor and trivial items but missed elephants in the room.
My client was devastated and financially stressed because on top of maxed out purchase she now had to finance roof replacement and other repair works.
My inspection found otherwise, this is what I said in my VCAT report:
"Pre purchase inspection report has failed to accurately disclose major defects to roof and foundation subsidence. In reliance on the report, owner has purchased this property but now finds that roof leaks extensively and urgently needs replacement and that brickwork requires foundation repair by underpinning. Replacement and repair works have caused substantial unforeseen expense that owner is seeking to recover."
Lucky for my client was that although I was not able to confirm pre purchase inspector's claims of registration and expertise there was professional indemnity insurance.
Predictably the inspector and his insurer denied liability, threw in red herrings and tried poker bluffing.
I was not involved in negotiations but my client armed with my report and having the benefit of my experience stood firm, stared them down and they blinked. Insurer paid out.
This was a good outcome from a bad story but its not alway like that so you have to be careful not only with your choice of a home but also your choice of a inspector for there are plenty of lemons and lemon inspectors.