Schedule of Condition
What is a Schedule of Condition?
A Schedule of Condition is prepared to establish the condition of a residential or commercial property prior to the completion of a lease. As a tenant, a Schedule of Condition prevents you from having to repair elements that were in poor condition before your arrival as well as details your landlord’s terms and expectations.
At the end of your lease, the Schedule of Condition will be used to determine whether or not you’ve left the building in either the same or an improved condition. Your landlord will issue a Schedule of Dilapidation if you’re responsible for repairing or covering the costs of damages.
What does a Schedule of Condition detail?
- The building’s overall condition
- Structural defects, such as timber issues and dampness
- Human-made defects, such as damaged plaster or paintwork
- Materials used
- Roof structure
- Wall coverings
Do I need a Chartered Surveyor to prepare a schedule of condition?
If you’re a tenant, our RICS Chartered Surveyors can review the terms of your landlord’s Schedule of Condition, allowing you to sign the lease with your eyes open and avoid being held responsible for damages unnecessarily or unfairly.
For landlords, we can prepare a Schedule of Condition on your behalf using our decades of experience and in-depth industry knowledge. We’ll survey your building inside and out both prior to and after the lease term, ensuring your tenant meets their obligations.
Without a Schedule of Condition, tenants expose themselves to unnecessary repair costs that should be the landlord’s responsibility. Similarly, landlords must prepare a detailed Schedule of Condition to ensure tenants honour the lease terms. If you need help preparing or reviewing this critical yet often overlooked document, you should contact our highly experienced chartered surveyors.
At Harding Chartered Surveyors, we can protect both landlords and tenants in London against financial loss by drafting and reviewing accurate Schedules of Conditions. In the process, we’ll help both parties agree on fair terms and understand the consequences of noncompliance.
Schedule of Condition Quote
Schedule of Condition for London tenants
Employing our chartered surveyors to review your landlord’s Schedule of Condition lets you:
- Protect yourself against false claims from landlords
- Gauge a building’s condition before signing the lease
- Prevent unnecessary legal disputes
- Understand the terms of your lease and your obligations
Schedule of Condition for London landlords
By hiring our RICS surveyors to prepare a Schedule of Condition, you can:
- Gauge your property’s overall condition
- Protect yourself against financial losses
- Ensure your tenant respects your lease terms
- Hold the right people responsible for any damage
Party Walls Schedule of Condition
A party wall ‘schedule of condition’ is simply a snapshot in time of the Adjoining Owners property. Party wall surveyors will visually inspect the walls, floor and ceiling surfaces in a neighbouring property. Often, visible parts of the external building envelope are also scheduled. Where a property has a garden, the gardens are sometimes scheduled in addition. The extent of the areas looked at will depend on the scope of the ‘notifiable’ works being carried out. For example, the basement of a four storey building is unlikely to be scheduled, if the ‘party wall works’ solely comprise repairs to a roof parapet next door.
Harding's View by Julia King
"There can be numerous reasons to carry out a schedule of condition. It provides a point of reference of the condition of a property, at a given date.
The Schedule of Condition could be undertaken at the commencement of a Lease or otherwise before nearby building work starts. It protects the owner or occupier of the property where the schedule of condition is being undertaken. A point of reference exists, if later building works cause damage. It also protects the instigator of the building works as It can lessen the risk of spurious claims of damage.
On the basis that a schedule of condition needs to be undertaken, the adjoining owner is contacted to ask if access can be afforded to their property. The current address as detailed on the H. M. Land Registry is usually used. It is therefore important for property owners to keep their Land Registry entries up to date and if need be, they can update the property entry with a revised address for service. Some more recently conveyed properties, whose records are held with the H. M. Land Registry provide an email address for such purposes.
If, for whatever reason, an adjoining owner does not allow access to their property for a schedule of condition to be undertaken, a schedule of condition can be undertaken from the public highway. Usually where an owner does not provide access for whatever reason, then the owner concerned is written to again, to clarify and generally confirm that they would not be able to substantiate any claims of damage if the damage occurred in a location that had not been accessed as part of the schedule of condition. This can sometimes act as an incentive for a property owner to provide access to their property.
It is also not unheard of for properties to be tenanted, and for tenants not to pass on written correspondence addressed to their landlord or to the property freeholder to the named recipient of those letters. This goes back to the earlier comment about ensuring that Land Registry entries are kept up-to-date. Otherwise, it is feasible to have a permanent redirection of mail. This is so that an owner will always be forwarded mail that is addressed to them at a property which they own.
If the instigator of building works is concerned about a specific property or the condition that it is in, then they could seek their own advice about whether a site-specific insurance policy is appropriate. It could cover potential risks such as third-party claims of damage. Insurance advice would need to be sought from a specialist. Most Chartered Surveyors do not have appropriate insurance to cover advice on insurance related matters.
Provided correspondence is issued to relevant owners in a way where postage can be verified, then the instigator of building works has been reasonable in offering a schedule of condition.
Sometimes schedules of condition are offered for ‘neighbourly’ reasons. Even if the Party Wall etc., Act 1996 does not apply to those proposed works. This may be the case if deep excavations are proposed, and those excavations have a ‘zone of influence’ which could affect nearby properties. This is more likely to be the case on larger schemes with numerous storeys below ground, or schemes involving tunneling. In other words, the offer of a Schedule of Condition is made, to be neighbourly.
We are sometimes asked whether Statutory Undertakers, such as gas, water, and electricity companies, are obliged to compile schedules of condition, if they are excavating for trenches, cables, or other infrastructure below ground. Usually, statutory undertakers have a dispensation from needing to serve notice under the Party Wall Act., 1996 to nearby property owners, for excavations in proximity to nearby structures.
However, if specific criteria arise on a project (an example I could give is if there is a Heritage Asset such as a sizeable Brick wall nearby of a certain vintage) then there is nothing stopping a nearby property owner approaching the Statutory Undertaker concerned, and agreeing with them, whether a schedule of condition would be a prudent exercise in order to protect both owners’ interests. It would be between the property owner and Statutory Undertaker concerned to agree the scope of any schedule of condition and who pays for same.
In most instances the statutory undertakers do not own the land that they are excavating, but have a right to lay infrastructure, on or under it. This does not therefore make them an ‘Owner’ as defined by the Party Wall Act and, negates the need for them to have to serve Notices under the Party Wall Act on Adjoining Owners."
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Discuss your Schedule of Condition with us Today
If you have any questions about the Schedule of Condition or want to know how our independent Chartered Surveyors can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 3598 6730 to speak with a qualified surveyor directly. We’ll gladly arrange a free consultation at a time that suits you. If you are looking for a survey or need a Chartered Building Surveyor, then please click here for more information. Our Chartered Surveyors would be more than happy to assist you with your enquiry.