Residential Property Inspections

You may be about to or may have already retained the services of a building surveyor who is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NZIBS).

If so, there are certain things you should know about how our members operate and what they can do for you.

This guide deals with the level of professionalism you should expect to receive from our members. 

Residential property inspections: What you can expect

You may be seeking a residential building inspection, such as a pre-purchase or pre-sale inspection.

If you engage a member of the NZIBS for this work, you can expect them to follow a due process and to complete the task with certain principles in mind.

For a start, they will understand the definition of a ‘property inspection’ as defined by the NZ Standard 4306:2005. A property inspection is a ‘non-invasive, visual inspection of a residential building carried out in accordance with [Section] 2.3.’

That Standard also outlines the requirements for the visual inspection of residential buildings, and for the preparation of the appropriate property inspection reports.

As well as working to the Standard, you can also expect them to bear the following points in mind when conducting a property inspection and reporting on the inspection:

  1. Any legal obligations in pre-purchase/pre-sale inspections
  2. Possible conflicts of interest
  3. What is specifically included and excluded from the report’s scope
  4. Any recommended references that need to be considered and other relevant documents that may be useful/important, for example council files
  5. What equipment is most appropriate for the work
  6. Health & safety issues
  7. Limits on their site inspection
  8. Their conduct onsite
  9. The report itself and how it is presented
  10. How best to communicate the information so you can easily understand it
  11. How to address any complaints or concerns that may arise
  12. How best to maintain accurate and appropriate records

In addition to the above, you can also expect our members to follow the Institute’s rules and regulations when performing this kind of work, and can be assured they only take on projects that are within their specific sphere of experience and expertise.

For further information on the NZ Institute of Building Surveyors please go to: or phone 0800 113 400.