There's no way to be sure some Christchurch homes have had their earthquake repairs completed without cutting them open, the Institute of Building Inspectors says.
Former Earthquake Commission minister Gerry Brownlee told Morning Report this morning that if home buyers in Christchurch find their houses have unrepaired quake damage they need to question the work done by their building inspector, not EQC.
Now Building Surveyors are calling for regulations to ensure houses for sale are inspected thoroughly, and problems are picked up.
The president of the Institute of Building Surveyors, Darin Devanny said even experienced inspectors could miss some earthquake damage.
But he said people have a better chance with a trained inspector.
"What the public need to know is that the pre-purchase industry is completely unregulated.
"So there's all sorts of people that are carrying out pre-purchase inspections that aren't actually qualified at all."
Institute of Building Inspectors chief executive Neville Scott said building inspectors can only do a visual inspection, and most repair work will be covered up by cladding and lining.
He said inspectors worked for prospective purchasers and could not open or cut a building up without permission from the vendor.
Inspectors can check for things like elevated moisture, but that would not necessarily indicate a badly done repair job.
Mr Scott said it was particularly hard to see what was going on with concrete foundations.