What to Include in a Schedule of Condition

Schedules of Condition can be an extremely useful resource when it comes to limiting dilapidations liability as a tenant in a commercial property. However, not all Schedule of Condition are equal! When a tenant attempts to compile a Schedule themselves, or perhaps instructs a Schedule from a less reputable Surveyor (not a Chartered Surveyor), the resulting Schedule of Condition may lack the required content – often not being worth the paper they’re written on – if they’re written at all!

Here is a list of some of the elements that should be included in a Schedule of Condition…

  • The date the Schedule of Condition was prepared and when the original photos were taken.
  • Introductory text at the start of the Schedule of Condition to describe the extent and type of the building and the reason for the report.
  • A detailed description of the building, including all accessible areas and the roof.
  • Suitable photographs – taken at a high resolution. These should be appended to and referenced in the report.
  • A written record of any existing issues, such as cracks, staining, holes, decay, discolouration, leaks, defects, disrepair or deterioration.
  • Drawings of the property, including layout and measurements.
  • Any specific tests that may have been carried out.
  • Detailed notes about the major component parts and services within each room.
  • An explanation of any of the terms or key words used within the report.

Within this list are several nuances that, without being considered, could render the Schedule virtually worthless. For example, when it comes to photographs, these need to show both the detail of a defect and the defect within the wider context of the room, and be accompanied by a full description.

The use of appropriate terminology to describe defects or condition is important as a dilapidations defence will usually be reviewed by a Chartered Surveyor. As such, descriptions need to be written in a way that is suitable; with enough detail for anyone reading the report to be able to visualise.

We see many Schedules that do not provide the adequate level of detail to provide a defence to dilapidations claims. Unfortunately, without the evidence to fall back on, tenants can often do little to defend a claim and therefore find themselves with a significant bill when leaving a property.

When it comes to protecting yourself as a tenant entering a commercial property and committing to the terms of a lease, the best option is to instruct a firm of Chartered Surveyors to compile a Schedule of Condition on your behalf.

By employing the services of a trusted and knowledgeable professional, you are providing a solid basis to avoid or limit costly dilapidations disputes later in the lease term.

To speak to one of our Chartered Building Surveyors about having a Schedule of Condition prepared on your behalf, please get in touch. Our team are able to complete Schedules of Condition, along with a full range of other commercial property reports, across Lancashire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and the Yorkshire Dales.

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