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Beware of cowboys!

March 18th, 2015 by Steve McNamara

A reputable leading North Island building inspecting company is warning home buyers to beware of cowboy operators who’ve set up shop in several parts of the country…

Betta Inspect It welcomes and fully supports top level moves to warn NZ property buyers about these cowboys offering cheap pre-purchase inspections and reports.

It’s highly tempting to choose someone offering a $400 inspection and report – as opposed to ones normally costing $500 to $700 – especially if people are finalising their property purchase. However, the eventual costs involved could far outweigh any savings, Betta Inspect It reports.

“We are regularly contacted by home buyers who have had pre-purchase property inspection reports, prepared by cowboy operators, declined by their banks or have received a single, tick box report which they are not satisfied with,” Betta’s managing director, Matt Mason, explains.

“We have then had to go through the property again and do a thorough inspection costing the home buyer, agents, solicitors and banks undue stress. This ultimately costs the buyer more money than they would have spent if they had just engaged a reputable company in the first place.”

Betta Inspect It has come across recent cases of these pop-up shop cowboy property inspectors operating in Tauranga, Taupo and Hawke’s Bay.

Herald Homes’ Saturday, March 7 edition again highlighted this issue warning prospective home buyers ‘Be wary of pre-purchase inspections’ backed by three national industry organisations.

Herald Homes on building inspectionsThis explained that, a lack of rules means that practically anyone can set up shop and start offering pre-purchase building reports as there are currently no Government rules covering this.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Accountants (RICS) points out that the lack of regulation leaves consumers susceptible to bad or negligent advice. The NZ Institute of Building Inspectors (NZIBI) also warns some so-called “building inspectors” provide two-page tick-box reports, telling prospective buyers very little. It cites cases where former real estate agents and policemen have set themselves up offering building reports, at a fraction of the price of normal pre-inspection reports.

While the Government has introduced a new standard governing residential property inspections this still doesn’t include regulating who is doing this work. Worse still, it has given unqualified people a template to work off.

“Given what has happened with the leaky homes saga, the Christchurch earthquakes etcetera why are unqualified, unregulated cowboys STILL being allowed to set up shop offering pre-purchase building inspections?” Mr Mason asks.

“Common sense means that employing someone unqualified with little or no experienced is a gamble that is never going to end well. They’re very unlikely to know what defects to look for and we know how costly that can be for anyone caught unawares.”

Betta Inspect it normally charges between $500 and $700 for its pre-purchase property inspection. All its inspectors are all industry-qualified and carry full indemnity insurance – including weather tightness cover which other building inspectors often exclude. Betta is a member of NZIBI and fully complies with the new standard, NZS: 4306: 2005.

Betta Inspect It’s website is or contact phone no 0800 422 388.

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