Thank you for clicking on today’s blog post, we really hope that it is beneficial for you! In today’s blog the focus will be on the importance of a good Schedule of Condition report.
You might be wondering what a Schedule of Condition is?
A Schedule of Condition essentially records the condition of the property that adjoins the property which is carrying out the building works prior to the commencement of the works.
It involves an experienced Party Wall surveyor carrying out a visual inspection of the property and thoroughly documenting the condition of the internal walls, ceilings, windows, doors and floors. Not only this, but the experienced Party Wall surveyor will also document the pre-works condition of the external elements of the property which includes the roof, walls, windows, the ground and the drainage.
Usually, the Schedule of Condition is in a written format which describes the location and nature of the defects which currently exist this is also backed up by a series of photographs.
Typically, it is usually the building owner’s surveyor who will undertake the Schedule of Condition with the assistance of the adjoining owner’s surveyor. The document is then sent to the adjoining owner’s surveyor who will then ensure that the report is accurate and that they agree.
Here at Stokemont we truly believe that a good schedule of condition is vital, and it significantly reduces the likelihood of a dispute arising between the adjoining owner and the building owner.
Obviously, it does bring benefits to the adjoining owner, but it also provides a great benefit to the building owner as it ensures that they are not blamed for damage to the adjoining owner’s property which existed prior to the commencement of the works.
When are they required?
A Schedule of Condition inspection is required when a building owner intends to carry out building works which are notifiable under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A Schedule of Condition must be carried out of all neighbouring properties which may be affected by the works.
Once the Schedule of Condition for all notifiable properties has taken place the report will then form part of the Party Wall Award (read more about the Party Wall Award by clicking here).
What areas do they cover?
Prior to conducting the on-site Schedule of Condition inspection, the experienced Party Wall surveyor will thoroughly inspect the drawings of the building owners proposed plans and will identify which areas of the adjoining owner’s property are most at risk and aim to minimise this risk.
During the Schedule of Condition, the Party Wall surveyor will inspect the ceilings, walls, windows, doors and floors which are near to the works while ensuring that they document the condition rigorously.
The Schedule of Condition covers both the internal areas as well as the external areas of the adjoining owner’s property.
When should they be undertaken?
A schedule of Condition should be undertaken prior to the works commencement as this will make sure the adjoining owner’s property is well documented and will ensure that any disputes in relation to damage can be resolved smoothly.
The pre-works Schedule of Condition will also allow the Party Wall Surveyor to enhance their knowledge of the lay of the land, essentially enabling them to further reduce the risks of the works.
Not only should a Schedule of Condition be undertaken prior to the works commencing but also once the building owner’s works have been completed.
The post works Schedule of Condition will allow the Party Wall surveyor to identify whether there has been any change in the condition of the adjoining owner’s property since the building owner’s works.
If there is new damage which the experienced Party Wall Surveyor deems to be as a result of the building owner’s works then the adjoining owner is left with two options. Either they have the building owner’s contractor make good the damage or they obtain quotes from a contractor of their choice and have the invoice paid for by the building owner.
The Party Wall surveyor will look back through the pre-works Schedule of Condition whilst carry out the post works inspection to identify if there is any new damage.
How can you arrange a Schedule of Condition?
We really believe that it is important that a high-quality Schedule of Condition is produced as this will allow for a more efficient process in the resolution of disputes between building owners and adjoining owners.
A thorough Schedule of Condition will also lead to a stronger Party Wall Award.
Here at Stokemont we specialise in Party Wall Surveying, and we have a team who are highly qualified & experienced in all party wall matters.
Arranging a Schedule of Condition is very simple, and we would be happy to assist. If you would like us to undertake a Schedule of Condition of your property or a neighbouring property, then do not hesitate to get in touch by clicking here.