Defective pre–purchase inspection reports and how to choose your expert

In our article titled How to select a building consultant to prepare a pre –purchase inspection report, we reviewed the legal position that a home owner can recover damages where a building consultant has been negligent in preparing a pre –purchase inspection report.

In this article, we discuss how to prove a building consultant has been negligent in preparing a pre –inspection report. In Maurer v Seabrook Pest Control & Seabrook (General),the Applicant sought compensation of $17,627 for the failure of the Respondent to properly conduct a pre –purchase inspection report. The application asserted that the Respondent failed to identify a number of defects within the home with the most significant of which related to the roof.

It was held that to succeed in the claim, the applicants must establish that:

  • there were defects in the roof at the time of the inspection and that the report should note same;
  • in order to recover compensation, the applicants must prove that there is a causal link between the failure to report the defects and the losses suffered by the applicant; and
  • the correct measure of compensation is determined by the loss of opportunity that the applicants would have had to raise the issue with the vendor at the time of the purchase and either withdraw from the sale, or negotiate a better purchase price.


If you believe your building consultant has been negligent in the preparation of the pre –purchase inspection report, you are going to have to engage an expert to prepare an export report. When choosing the expert, make sure:

  • you ask the expert the right questions to prove your case;
  • the expert is preparing the report in accordance with the CTTT code; and
  • the expert has sufficient expertise to be an expert.

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This article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. All articles found on this website are intended to provide informative information, nevertheless, in many instances legislation and case law has been simplified and/or paraphrased. If you would like personal legal advice based on your current circumstances, you should contact MurdockCheng Legal Practice for a free consultation.