Property Law – What is a Pre-Settlement Property Inspection?

Property Law – Pre-Settlement Inspection.

During the normal course of events prospective property purchaser’s visit a house they intend to purchase and if the property is to their liking, enter into an Agreement for Sale and Purchase.  This agreement should preferably be reviewed by their solicitor prior to being signed. Once the specified conditions of purchase have been met, the contract becomes an unconditional agreement (a binding contract).   At an agreed date in the future, settlement / possession shall occur.

It is important to understand that a buyer is entitled to carry out a pre-settlement inspection in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Examples could be a window broken, light fittings missing, a burn mark on the carpet, etc.  Obviously this damage must have occurred after the date on which the agreement was signed.

The pre-settlement inspection is normally arranged by the real estate agent, and must be carried out no later than the day before settlement is scheduled to occur.  During this inspection the property purchaser should ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was on the day that the contract was signed.  If any damage has occurred since the signing of the Agreement for Sale and Purchase, the purchaser can request that the problem be remedied or alternatively could ask for compensation.

Depending on the situation the purchaser’s solicitor could negotiate with the vendor’s solicitor to retain and amount in their trust account pending the satisfactory correction of the identified damage.

For more information on property law, your conveyancing transaction or proposed agreement for sale and purchase of property please contact a property lawyer at Auckland law firm Quay Law.