Can I request a copy of the building inspection report from the previous owner?
When buying a property, having access to the building inspection report from the previous owner can provide valuable insights into the condition of the home and any potential issues that may need attention. However, whether or not you can request and obtain a copy of the previous inspection report depends on several factors. In this article, we’ll explore the considerations surrounding this request.
Privacy and Ownership
Building inspection reports are typically commissioned by the person selling the property, and the report belongs to them. As a result, they have the right to decide whether or not to share it with prospective buyers.
Your ability to obtain a copy of the previous building inspection report depends largely on the willingness of the seller to share it with you. Some sellers may be open to providing the report as a part of their efforts to be transparent and build trust with potential buyers.
Age of the Report
The relevance of the previous inspection report also matters. If the report is relatively recent (typically within the last year), it may still be a valuable resource. However, if it’s several years old, it may not accurately reflect the current condition of the property, as issues could have arisen or been addressed since the inspection.
Sellers may be cautious about sharing a previous inspection report because it could potentially expose them to liability if undisclosed issues arise after the sale. To mitigate this, some sellers might prefer to conduct a new inspection or include a disclosure statement outlining any known issues.
Negotiation and Agreement
If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the previous inspection report, you can negotiate this with the seller as part of the purchase agreement. The seller may agree to provide it, especially if it’s a recent and favourable report that supports the property’s condition.
Conducting Your Own Inspection
Even if you obtain a copy of the previous inspection report, it’s still advisable to conduct your own building inspection. Inspectors can identify issues that may have been missed or have developed since the previous inspection.
Local regulations and laws can vary regarding the sharing of inspection reports. Some areas may require sellers to disclose inspection reports to potential buyers, while others may not have such requirements.
While it’s possible to request a copy of the building inspection report from the previous owner, whether or not you’ll receive it depends on the seller’s willingness and other factors such as the age of the report and local regulations. It’s always a good idea to discuss your preferences and concerns with your real estate agent or attorney, who can help facilitate negotiations and ensure that you have the necessary information to make an informed decision about the property. Regardless of whether you obtain the previous report, conducting your own inspection is a vital step in the home-buying process to ensure your peace of mind and protect your investment.