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A schedule of condition is normally carried out as part of the Party wall etc. Act 1996 (the Act).
The ‘schedule of condition’ is simply a snapshot in time of the Adjoining Owners property. It is a visual inspection of the Party walls, floor and ceiling surfaces in a neighbouring property. As part of the inspection external elements of the building envelope are also scheduled.
Where a property has a garden, the gardens are sometimes scheduled in addition especially in situations of potential damage to vegetation.
The extent of the areas examined at will depend on the scope of the ‘notifiable’ and subsequent development works being undertaken. For example, the basement of a building is unlikely to be scheduled, if the notifiable works solely comprise repairs to a roof parapet next door.
The Party Wall Surveyor or surveyors involved will agree to the scope of the schedule of condition. Usually, there is no need to move furniture or lift carpets. The Surveyors will take extensive images of all relevant areas.
The schedule records the condition that an element of the structure or property is found in, on the date of inspection. It also records any defects, such as cracking to plaster surfaces. This is particularly important as any likely damage is often in the form of surface cracking and this can be expensive to repair and decorate so its essential the existing condition is recorded with a level of accuracy.
As well as being a visual and digital inspection, sometimes cameras are elevated up chimney flues, or into drainage runs to assess their condition, before building work commences. Damage to drainage can be substantial in costs to repair.
There is a dual purpose of the schedule of condition. Firstly, it acts as a point of reference if building works cause damage to an Adjoining Owners property. Secondly, it protects the instigator of the building works, the Building Owner, from spurious claims of damage from third parties.
At Certified Building Surveyors we have a six strong team specialising in Party Wall matters in an independent and impartial manner.
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