In Summary
  • Yes, we live in a digital world where almost everything is done online. From food purchase, online/mobile banking, transport services and now even buying and selling of property. However, no one should ever buy or pay for a house or land they haven’t inspected in person.

Home inspection is one of the major things a buyer or intending tenant must do before signing any agreement or making payments. It is important to know the condition of a property you are interested in. It is best done immediately you meet the property manager.
Mr Edward Mawanda, a tenant in Naalya, advises clients to go in person for inspection because most times, property agents do not provide enough details about the property they are selling. They may deliberately omit important details such as broken pipes, gaping holes, loose electricity wires, family land conflicts and the like. These should be fixed before payment is made. “I once used a certain website to find a house to rent. When I asked to see the house which was in Naalya, the brokers started making up all manner of excuses.

Eventually, they took me to another house claiming that the one I wanted to see was already taken. Surprisingly, their website was still advertising the allegedly ‘already taken’ house as vacant,”
Mr Mawanda adds that another reason to thoroughly inspect a house of interest before you pay is so that you can bargain from a point of information.

To spot damages
Mr Allan Senfuka, a property manager at Multi Property Agents in Namugongo says that house inspection helps the client to spot the damages which may need repairs before negotiating any deal with the property manager. If there are repairs needed, the landlord/seller and the tenant/buyer will agree on who foots the bill for them can agree on who to do repairs client or property manager.

“If a client agrees to do repairs him/herself it means the rent costs must be lowered by the seller because then the client is incurring costs for the repairs needed.” Please not that it is usually advisable for clients to do the repairs because a seller or landlord is most likely to carry out shoddy work to minimize costs. Mr Senfuka adds both parties have to agree on how much the repair will cost as this affects how much one eventually pays for the house.
“If you do not inspect the house before payments it may be very hard to do repairs. A property manager may delay inspection intentionally until after money has changed hands,” he adds.

Deal with real owner
Mr Senfuka says that during inspection, it is key to deal with the rightful owner. Unlike middlemen, brokers and agents, rightful owners know everything there is to know about a house or land. “If you do not talk to the real property owner, you could easily be defrauded by agents who are out to make some quick money,” he says.
Mr Senfuka says that by talking to the property owner, you get to know important details for instance; is there any conflict, family or otherwise related to land/house of interest, is it actually for sale.
“In case your efforts to deal directly with the owner fail, during inspection ask as many questions as possible to know if the agents have enough and legitimate information. Talk to neighbours as well. They usually have useful information,’ he says.

Buying what you ordered for
Ms Sheilah Namwanje, a property manager says that house inspections help the client to know if they are buying what they ordered for.
“Make sure you get time and visit the property and know if what they put on sale is available, you may find that the house is good but very far from the main road yet they claim it is only a few meters away from the main road,’ she says.
Ms Namwanje adds that a client should make sure him or her checks whatever was advertised for example, what security measures are in place, are utility bills cleared, etc.

Know the neighbourhood.
Ms Namwanje says that house inspection is a chance to introduce yourself to your would-be neighbours.
“When you go for inspection, make sure you talk to the neigbours so that they get to know you. They are the best watchmen when you’re not around,”