Example of a poorly-written contract
‘This contract is conditional upon a Termite Clearance Certificate being obtained at the expense of the purchaser from a recognised and reputable pest control company, certifying that the buildings are free from termite activity as at the date of inspection, and stating also whether there is damage occasioned by previous activity.
‘Should the certificate disclose infestation or damage and should the vendors be unable or unwilling to remedy or rectify such infestation or damage, the purchaser may at any time prior to ten days from the date fixed for settlement, by notice in writing terminate this contract…’
Why it's bad
This condition could put you at risk. The get-out clause, ‘the vendor is unable or unwilling to remedy the infestation, means that even if the property is full of termites you’d still be bound to buy it (provided the seller said they’d fix the problem).
Example of a well-written contract
You don’t want to find yourself forced to buy a property with pest damage because you got caught out. As with the building conditions, it’s important to have your solicitor or conveyancer check the wording of the contract before you sign. They’ll ensure the contract is written in a way that affords you greater protection. It may read more like this:
‘This contract is conditional upon a Pest Inspection Report being obtained at the expense of the purchaser and accepted as satisfactory by them within 14 days of acceptance of this contract.
If the report is not to their satisfaction, the purchaser/s may (at their option) terminate this contract by written notice, supported by a copy of the report, to the vendors agent prior to the date of 14 days from acceptance.'
The key phrase here is ‘if the report is not to their satisfaction’. This allows you to pull out of the contract if the pest inspection comes back with some problems.