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Material Defect

A material defect is defined in the InterNACHI® Home Inspection Standards of Practice (


A “material defect” is a specific issue with a system or component of a house that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people.


Defects such as roof leaks may go unnoticed, particularly depending on the sale season. Another sign of potential water problems is dampness on walls, which sellers might attempt to conceal through strategic furniture placement. Significant concerns also include electrical installations, plumbing issues, and slow leaks in pools. Additionally, it’s crucial to consider any deviations from approved building plans, especially in external structures like carports.

Material Defects - Leaking Roof Surface
When should a defect disclosure be made?

Upon inspecting the property, the seller is required to promptly disclose any known latent or patent defects to the estate agent. Typically, this disclosure takes place during the initial meeting between the two parties, especially when conducting a property valuation. Given that defects can influence the property’s price, the agent needs to have awareness of potential risks. Additionally, the agent holds the responsibility of highlighting patent defects to prospective purchasers and including them in the Declaration of Sale contract.


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To avoid all the litigation expenses should it later be discovered that there were known defects by the seller which were not disclosed and the buyer can prove it. Rather contract the services of an approved and certified Home Inspector to provide an unbiased written report of the latent and patent defects and go into the transaction with your eyes wide open.


Written by Property Inspect 4u

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PropertyInspect4U – Your Trusted Partner for Comprehensive and Certified Property Inspections. At PropertyInspect4U, we specialise in providing top-notch property inspection services across South Africa. Our team of certified property inspectors is dedicated to ensuring the safety, quality, and value of your property. With our expertise in the South African property market, we offer a range of services including pre-purchase inspections, structural assessments – and more – tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients. Whether you’re buying, selling, or maintaining a property, rely on us for detailed, professional, and reliable inspection services. Contact PropertyInspect4U today to safeguard your investment!

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