Rooms that are non-legal and not suitable for living use.

Non-legal living rooms. Identified by Peter Weddell, owner/operator of Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service and Queensland Building Inspection Service, QBIS

The prospective buyer of this property was mislead into believing he could rent out a non-legal living area to help pay off the mortgage. Without spending too much money on it, WRONG!

Insufficient ground clearance

between timber and soil also lack of appropriate sub-floor ventilation. This is highly likely to allow termite access, cause dry rot to timber which can cause respiratory problems with the inhabitants.

Considerable undulation of the lower level floor caused by stump and frame movement. Ceiling height being approximately 170mm under the requirement of 2.4 metres for use as a habitable area.

Problems associated with this house & non-habitable sub-floor area:

  • Structures that have not been built as they were originally intended, outlined in the Council building approvals may not be insurable (always check with your insurer).
  • Treatment against termite access and damage cannot be effectively carried out, with guarantees.
  • Drains and waterproofing cannot be effectively fitted (without major reconstruction) to avoid further water entry and rising damp.
  • Sub-floor rooms cannot be used as a habitable areas.
  • Regulations set by local Council regarding heritage listed properties with restrictions on allowable alterations and extensions that must fall within their criteria.

The only way to effectively eliminate the majority of the above problems would be to:

  • Remove all the sub-floor walls, floor and framing (below the upper level floor).
  • Replace them with stumps.
  • Or remove and rebuild the sub-floor area.
  • All in accordance with Building Code & Council requirements.

Non-legal living rooms. Important points:

Either way the alternatives were far greater in cost than the prospective buyer had anticipated and what he was prepared to spend on the house.

The buyer was also not made aware of the building being heritage listed (with restrictions) before he signed the contract!

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service.