select
|

Should Home Inspections be compulsory in South Africa?

With such a large percentage of homebuyers at the moment being new entrants to the property market, and thus usually novices when it comes to assessing the condition of a property, a mandatory home inspection by an independent, properly qualified person could be a very beneficial, and simple, consumer protection measure.

“Such an inspection, not to be confused with the ‘evaluation’ or ‘appraisal’ made by the representative of a bank to assess whether the property has sufficient value to secure the mortgage, would have many advantages,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“These would include giving homebuyers peace of mind that someone who really knows what they are doing is checking the property from top to bottom, so that they are not going to end up having to make expensive repairs to correct hidden defects. This would be especially useful for first-time buyers on a tight budget.”
Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says a compulsory home inspection would also:

  • Give home sellers the knowledge that they wouldn’t have to deal with any accusations of non-disclosure.
  • Give the banks more security, in that it would in large measure remove buyer dissatisfaction with the condition of a property and / or problems with covering the high cost of repairing unforeseen or unknown problems, which are major causes of mortgage defaults.
  • Be beneficial to estate agents in that it would prevent the problems that can easily arise from seller non-disclosure and buyers’ later discovery of defects they feel the agent should have told them about.
  • “Compulsory home inspection as a prerequisite to the transfer of a property – on the same basis as the requirement for an electrical certificate of compliance, say, or a beetle certificate – would also have the advantage of being a preventative measure rather than the doubtful and notoriously hard to access curative options available in terms of the Consumer Protection Act or through the National Home Builders’ Registration Council (NHBRC).”

In the case of newly-built South African houses, Everitt says, inspection by an independent professional would also obviate the problems arising from the fact that most municipalities currently have a serious shortage of qualified building inspectors – “which would once again benefit the banks who grant building loans”.

As for the cost of having a home inspection done, he acknowledges that there is bound to be some argument about who should carry this. “House inspections currently usually cost between R3500 and R6000, which is not affordable for most first-time buyers, especially if they are struggling to put together a cash deposit in order to secure a home loan. Similarly, it is unlikely that a property owner who is selling because of financial distress will be able to pay this.

“But there are other options. What about the banks being willing to add the cost of inspection to a home loan, for example, the way they sometimes also allow transfer duty and bond registration costs to be included? Perhaps the NHBRC could use some of the millions of Rands worth of levies paid by registered builders to pay for home inspections on behalf of homebuyers who only use those registered builders? Or perhaps the government should fund a home inspection for anyone who is the recipient of a State housing loan or subsidy?

“There are sure to be other solutions too, but whatever is decided, it needs to be implemented fast and efficiently to improve consumer confidence in the property market and help boost home ownership in South Africa.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      A major shift in the ageing paradigm has precipitated an equally dramatic transformation in the retirement sector, with modern accommodation options worlds away from the conventional model.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK