There are some special conditions on prices. We apologize to the social-minded majority who are our highly valued clients, but we need to write the following. These are also listed in our Terms and Conditions.
Payment and Report Usage
When the inspection reports are written the client or their representative will be sent the invoice for payment. When the reports are paid for, the client or their representative will be sent the receipt.
We do the job fast and send you the reports fast. So, we ask that you pay fast.
The system we use – unless otherwise agreed to in writing – is that the reports get used by the client after they are paid for, not before. The ownership of the reports resides with My Canberra Building Inspections ACT until they are paid for.
There is no problem with a client asking another person or agent about the reports, and what is in them, so they can be better understood. But the reports are the intellectual property of their writers, and My Canberra Building Inspections ACT. They should not be used as inspection reports (such as for purchasing or selling property, getting quotes etc.) until the reports are paid for. That would be unethical if done.
Using Reports Without Payment
Using the reports without paying for them goes against Our commercial expectation and agreement.
The reports when completed and sent, are not sent on loan. They are for You to check and see that they are what You expect. Generally, these reports are not expensive and can cost less than a mobile telephone, for example. One would not expect to buy a telephone, or any other similar service, and walk out of the shop without paying for it. And, so it is with our reports.
So, the system we use is as follows. You ask for our work to be done, we then do it. We expect you to check it is what you expected. You then pay for it. We then send you the receipt. That receipt authorizes you to use the reports as you lawfully wish. That is how We agree our transaction is done unless expressly written otherwise.
There are other agreements that My Canberra Building Inspections ACT has with others about their copyright – such as in the Termite and Timber Pest Inspection Report, the Energy Efficiency Rating Report, and so on.
Those other relevant copyrights also stay in force. There is also legislation on how these reports can be used. We agree with that.
Our Reports and Hourly Rates
When you order a report from us it must be completed. Even if you disagree with the onsite evaluation, that report will be written and you agree here to pay for it.
An example might be that a client wants a report to denigrate a builder for perceived wrong doing to them. The client may insist that broad negative generalities be written. This has happened. But we will write only what is specific, item by item, true and fair, from our decades of experience.
Our insurance company does not allow us to inspect without writing reports.
The report will be written fairly, with specifics, item by item. It must be paid for.
If you do not pay for the report, that report may be put in the public domain for anyone to access freely. This is in our Terms and Conditions.
It has happened where a client has thought they could save money by engaging our services on a fixed rate, and then explain it needs to be adapted for free for an ongoing court action that the client was already involved in, but undisclosed previously to the inspector. In this case the report rates and prices are different.
Fixed Rate Fees
Generally a normal fixed rate report could be a Special Inspection, or the Practical Completion Inspection. These inspections are for conciliation between the client and a builder. It is expected that the report will help the client resolve issues without escalation to courts or lawyers.
However, should the client wish the report be used for courts then the inspector reserves the right to be briefed by the client’s attorney personally, without the client as an intermediary. The payment rates for Expert Witness work are listed on the My Canberra Building Inspections ACT website. There are usually extra hours involved in Expert Witness reports.
When engaging an inspector on an hourly rate, the minimum hourly rate is a total of five hours, including travel. There is nothing less.
If a client cancels a job less than a full working day before the inspection, then the client needs to pay for that time lost by the inspector. The client will be invoiced for the full inspection. If the client however, cancels two working days before the inspection, then half the fee will be invoiced.
An example of how this works could be that We are booked for an inspection on a Tuesday at 2pm. Monday is a public holiday. The cancellation comes at 4 pm on Friday. That is less than a full working days’ notice. The reason for this condition is that We are not likely to refill that time spot at such a late notice of cancellation.
But if a cancellation happens with a couple of working days’ notice, then there is usually time to fill that reserved spot with another inspection. So in that case no cancellation fee is needed.
Onsite Changes to Inspection Prices
If you select a fixed rate price, it is expected that the price will be fair for an average sized house. The fixed rate prices are given are for an average sized house. Average can be broad and abused as a concept.
If the job is implied by the client to be average (for which a fixed rate price is given) and it is not, then additional time may be added at the additional hourly rate listed on the My Canberra Building Inspections ACT website. You agree to that with Us here.
An example could be that the client engages Our services on the basis that the house is described as a four bedroom house with three bathrooms. That sounds like it could be on the edge of average and our list price was quoted.
What was not said in that particular case was that there was also an extra kitchenette, a study, a salon, a dining area, a lounge area, a rumpus area, family room, a theatre, a powder room, an extra WC, a bar room, a second laundry, and a play room.
We would consider the above example to be an unfair engagement and the price should be adjusted by adding in the extra time, and that that time is added to the invoice. In some cases there have been entire granny flats undisclosed as separate residences. Two residences cost more than one residence to inspect.
And in some cases in the country regions we find there are farm sheds, store sheds and so on that need to be additionally inspected. Note that we will still do the job, carry through, and the fee on the invoice will simply be different to what was quoted.
But it is best to disclose from the start how many rooms there are and what they are, when getting the quote.
Our mission is to be efficient but fair, to You, the client, and as well as to Us.