These days, the seller and his agent are required to let the buyer know of all defects or potential defects regarding the property for sale even if it is being sold voetstoots. If the seller does not disclose the defects he could be held liable for damages. In fact, the law makes it mandatory for sellers to attach a disclosure form to the agreement of sale. So the buyer must insist on a copy of this document before signing an Offer To Purchase.

That being said, it’s important for the buyer to look for potential pitfalls when he is potentially interested in purchasing a property and the best way to do this is to pay the cost of bringing in a house inspector. It’s well worth it and could potentially save the buyer tens or even hundreds of thousands of rands in the long run.

Here are 3 major defects a home inspector would look for:

  1. Poor drainage – does stormwater flow away from the house properly, does the roof need new gutters and downpipes, is there a danger of water ponding seeping under the foundations.
  2. Faulty electrical, plumbing and gas installations. Wiring, DB boards, hot water geysers, plumbing pipes, gas lines and sanitary ware must be checked.
  3. Hazardous materials such as lead-based paint, asbestos materials and unhealthy levels of potentially toxic moulds.

There are quite a number of other defects which we will cover in future articles but if you are curious to know about them now please contact one of our legal experts who will further answer your questions.

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