A Schedule of Condition report is required when a building owner, whom is the owner of the property that is undertaking the construction works. Plans on undertaking construction works to their home. As part of the pre works protections they want to ensure that the condition of the adjoining owner’s property is recorded.
The aim of the inspection and survey will be for an experienced surveyor to look at the adjoining owner’s property.
The outcome of the inspection will be a thorough and robust written and photographic report that sets out the condition of the adjoining owner’s property and all of those areas that are within the vicinity of where the proposed construction works are taking place.
The Schedule of Condition itself will see the surveyor go room to room, internally documenting the condition as it is noted at the time of the inspection. Importantly, the surveyor will also photograph and pinpoint any existing defects or issues that the property has.
The surveyor will also undertake a full external inspection, looking at elements such as the front elevation, rear elevation, ground, boundary fence, party fence wall or garden wall, and generally speaking, any other elements that the property has to it.
It is worth noting that in almost all cases, even on your new-build properties, there is going to be a degree of cracking, separation and defects. The premise of a Schedule of Condition report is that the building owner, the adjoining owner and the surveyor or surveyors are fully aware of what those defects are in advance of the works commencing.
This enables them to be able to understand exactly what issues were there and what weren’t. Therefore, if there is an allegation or suggestion of damage resulting from the works, whether it is during or after the construction procedures, it will be very easy for all parties to definitively confirm if that damage is indeed new, or is pre-existing.
With any construction works that take place, there is going to be a natural degree of vibration to the party wall, banging and clattering, which can in many cases result in movement and light surface cracking to the neighbouring property.
By ensuring the Schedule of Condition has been undertaken, it is very easy to determine just how bad, or to what extent, the vibrations have caused damage to a party wall or adjoining owner’s property.
In the event that there has been damage, it also enables all parties to then make an informed decision on how to best deal with it, for example, it may be that the adjoining owner is comfortable with the idea of the building owner’s contractor repairing, whereby that contractor would then undertake the repairs in due course.
Equally, the adjoining owner may also want to use an external contractor of their choosing to make good, which again is considered to be a reasonable request under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
The Schedule of Condition gives all parties a full understanding of exactly what the condition was pre works, when compared to the condition during the course of the work, or post work. Therefore, should issue or damage arise, it is very easy for the surveyor to definitively confirm their take on it and have it dealt with accordingly.
In our opinion here at Stokemont, Schedules of Condition are imperative and key for all types of construction works that are taking place, not just those that are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
For this reason, we advise and recommend they are undertaken whenever a building owner is undertaking planned works to their property, whether it be minor work, structural change or major renovation, we would always advise going through the process of having a Schedule of Condition report undertaken.
The way we look at it is that it is a very small price to pay for complete assurance and peace of mind. It can also go a significant way to greatly protect and preserve the all-important neighbourly relationship that exists.
If you would like to discuss Schedule of Condition reports with our team of qualified and experienced surveyors here at Stokemont, give us a call today and we would be more than happy to assist you.
Over the years we have undertaken many Schedule of Condition reports throughout England and Wales. We are also very proud to run and operate SOC Direct which undertakes Schedule of Condition reports for various other building surveying and party wall surveying companies within the UK.
This experience, breadth and frequency to site means that our surveyors are second-to-none when it comes to their approach and completeness in recording the condition of the property during a Schedule of Condition report.