A condition survey, also known as a “Schedule of Condition” is usually undertaken prior to the start of a new lease, or before commencing major building works on a property.
For Landlords & Tenants
It is wise for any potential tenant of a commercial property, to have a schedule of condition before the new lease is signed.
Prior to having the condition survey, you should check that the landlord will agree to have the schedule appended to the lease, as it then forms part of your contract with the landlord, who is then agreeing that the schedule accurately reflects the condition of the property at the time it is handed over.
This helps protect you at the end of the lease, when the landlord will issue a dilapidations claim that usually expects you to put the building back into the state of repair that it was in prior to the lease being issued.
This is where a good quality schedule of condition pays for itself, because if the surveyor has been sufficiently thorough, it will be useful in limiting the landlord’s claim, assuming of course, that the tenant has properly maintained the building for the duration of the lease to ensure that no further deterioration has taken place.
How We Protect You
When conducting a schedule of condition for our clients, we pay particular attention to the areas that we know will form the major part of a future dilapidation claim at the end of the lease.
The roof for example, is one such area, since repair costs are always high.
For this reason, we will always insist on accessing the roof when conducting a condition survey and, depending on the height of the eaves, will probably require a cherry picker to be available on site for this purpose. The hire charge will more than repay itself later when it comes to defending a dilapidations claim.
A condition survey comprises a large number of photographs that record not only the general condition of the property concerned, but also any existing faults and defects. These existing defects should then normally be excluded from future dilapidation claims, as they pre-exist the new lease.
In addition to the photographs, the schedule will also contain sufficient commentary to describe the condition of each area of the property, specifically noting any defects and reducing any ambiguity in the report.
Our condition surveys are compiled from the perspective of a dilapidations surveyor.
We know precisely what a dilapidations surveyor will be looking for, so we look to dilute potential future claims right from start by including detailed photographs, along with a location plan of the same, so that you don’t end up paying for faults that already existed at the start of your lease.
Not all building surveyors are as experienced in dilapidations as we are and few can match our level of negotiation expertise.
From a technical perspective, you need a dilapidations expert on your side right from the start.
Not all landlords will agree to appending a schedule of condition to a lease, but the most reasonable ones should have no problem – but you should always ask!
During a condition survey, we generally attend site with two experienced surveyors to ensure that nothing is missed. Floor plans are drawn where necessary and photographs are numbered and referenced for ease of use.
For Construction Projects
We are often asked to conduct condition surveys on behalf of construction companies involved in projects where it is possible that neighbouring properties and boundaries could be inadvertently damaged by any works taking place.
By thoroughly photographing and recording the condition of the neighbouring properties, (or in fact the property being worked upon), prior to the works starting, contractors can protect themselves from malicious or unwarranted claims from their clients and their neighbours.
Although you might consider it unlikely that neighbours might make claims against you, we have been told by many of our clients that our condition surveys have saved them large sums of money, because they have successfully defended claims that have been made against them.
Condition Survey Prices
The price of a condition survey will depend on the size of the property concerned and the number of rooms within the property being surveyed. For this reason, there is no “standard price”.
We are told by our clients that we are competitive, but we don’t aim to be the cheapest, simply because a low cost condition survey is a false economy and the real value won’t be known until the end of the lease.
A poor quality schedule of condition offers little or no protection because they are so vague and cannot be easily interpreted.
For an immediate and free quotation, or simply for advice on this crucial subject, please call us on 0121 711 7110.