To assist property owners and their agents to fulfil their legal obligations under Section 67 of the Property Practitioners Act (PPA), HouseCheck has introduced the IPCA Report – exclusively for sellers.
IPCA is an acronym for “Independent Property Condition Assessment” . IPCA has been especially designed by HouseCheck as a tool to assist property owners and their agents to comply with the PPA and fully disclose to potential buyers any serious defects on the property being sold and rented out.
Section 67 of the PPA, which is now a legal requirement since 1 February 2022 , states that a property practitioner (estate agent) must:
- Not accept a mandate unless the seller or lessor of the property has provided him or her with a fully completed and signed mandatory disclosure in the prescribed form; and
- Provide a copy of the completed mandatory disclosure form to a prospective purchaser or lessee who intends to make an offer for the purchase or lease of a property.
The PPA requires that the completed mandatory disclosure form, signed by all relevant parties, must be attached to any agreement for the sale or lease of a property. This disclosure must be an integral part of that agreement. Further, the PPA states that, if such a disclosure form was not completed, signed or attached, the agreement must be interpreted as if no defects or deficiencies of the property were disclosed to the purchaser.
The PPA says that a property practitioner who fails to comply with these legal requirements may be held liable by an affected consumer.
The HouseCheck IPCA report does not include details of minor or cosmetic defects and only documents observed Vital defects as explained below.
HouseCheck defines a “Vital defect” as a defect, significant damage, or non-compliance issue in a “critical component” which, in the opinion of the inspector, has the potential to:
- ·Pose a danger to human safety.
- ·Threaten the structural integrity of the structure inspected.
- ·Severely affect the functionality, or habitability of a structure, or core component of the structure.
In the IPCA report, “Critical component” means a component, section, or installation in the inspected building on which the safety or design functionality of the building, section of the building, or item, or installation depends.
“Significant damage” means damage to an inspected building, section of the building, or item or service installed in the building, which materially affects the design functionality of the building, section of the building, item or service.
Cosmetic defects and/or minor damage are excluded from this definition of “Significant damage”.