Why you should consider a Schedule of Condition
Schedules of Condition can be particularly valuable when a new lease is entered into or when construction begins on residential or commercial properties.
In the construction industry, legal matters are of utmost importance, and building evidence to protect oneself should claims or negotiations be necessary is instrumental.
Below, we’ll detail the reasons behind the vital role of Schedules of Condition in the industry, providing in-depth insight into the topic.
What is a Schedule of Condition?
Schedules of Condition provide a factual record of the state of a property, and are usually created for contractual reasons involving residential or commercial properties.
Building a complete, accurate picture of the condition of a property at a particular point in time, these reports provide evidence that can be utilised in a number of ways by landlords, tenants and contractors.
These provide both written and photographic evidence documenting the state of a property, offering full, undisputable evidence that can be relied upon at a later date, particularly when they are conducted by independent experts.
Who needs a Schedule of Condition?
Schedules of Condition are often required before the property is occupied by a new tenant at the beginning of a commercial or residential property lease, confirming its condition so that potential defects and liabilities are identified before this is entered. These limit the tenant’s obligation to conduct repairs, the cost of which can extend to insuring repair, redecoration and yield up provisions. A Schedule of Condition can also be particularly useful in assessing the responsibility for dilapidations at the end of a lease.
These assessments may also be required when construction is required for properties or buildings nearby, or if part of the property itself is being refurbished, for instance. Should the property itself incur potential damage as a result, Schedules of Condition can establish contractor liability, as well as help protect against potential claims from neighbours where this damage was not caused by construction works.
Additionally, these are necessary where the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 applies, in which case a Schedule of Condition needs to be provided prior to works commencing on neighbouring properties.
What does a Schedule of Condition involve?
Schedules of Condition are prepared by building surveyors, and depending on the needs of the individuals requesting them, they may include:
- The purpose of the Schedule
- A general brief describing the location, the extent of the property in question and the construction of the property itself
- The time, date and weather conditions at the time of the assessment
- The purpose(s) for which the Schedule of Condition can be used
- Any restrictions or aspects of the property that were not included in the inspection
- A schedule detailing information regarding each item inspected, with relevant remarks on their condition and potential issues
- Detail regarding specific tests that may have been carried out
- Definitions of the terms used
- Accompanying photos and videos
What are the overall benefits?
Schedules of Condition provide a valuable, accurate benchmark against which to compare the state of a property at a later date, the most important part of which involves the presence of photographic evidence and detailed text, which can help accurately substantiate potential claims and help during lease negotiations.
Though these can particularly beneficial when taking a lease on a property that is in poor condition, these are risks associated with taking a lease of any property, and Schedules of Conditions are an effective solution.
These documents act as firm evidence, protecting both landlord and tenants by helping clearly determine who is responsible for the cost of repairs to the property, without the need for a dispute.
Do you require a Schedule of Condition?
Arc Building Consultancy are chartered building surveyors and experts in the field, having provided high-quality Schedules of Condition for a number of clients in a range of locations across the UK.
To learn more about our Schedules of Condition and how they can benefit you, please get in touch.