Schedule of Condition
WHAT IS A SCHEDULE OF CONDITION?
A Schedule of Condition is a detailed and factual record of the condition of a property. The Schedule of Condition is usually prepared for contractual reasons to establish the condition of the property at a set date in time, usually the commencement of a lease agreement or in party wall agreements, this can be carried out on either residential or commercial premises.
A Schedule of Condition can be instructed by the following:
Having a Schedule of Condition completed by an independent expert provides greater gravitas to the record of condition in the event any party raises a claim or negotiation.
There is a big difference between how a Schedule of Condition is carried out and used, and a Condition Survey. The Schedule of Condition is a record of the condition of a building with descriptive annotations and photographs, usually appended to a legal document, whereas a Condition Survey is prepared to identify the condition of the building and also what works are required.
WHY IS IT NEEDED?
Having a Schedule of Condition completed at the outset of a lease agreement provides detailed and photographic evidence of the current condition of the property. This is key in accurately confirming the tenants repair obligations of the property and should be a document referred to at the end or the lease agreement, or when any repairs become necessary.
When the Schedule of Condition is used in relation to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, this evidential document can be used by either party to refer back to when assessing any damages that have been experienced, or not, during the course of the works and whether repair works or damages are required.
HOW IS IT DONE?
There is not one prescribed format for completing the Schedule of Condition, and it should be tailored to the type of property and the reasoning behind why the Schedule of Condition is required. The RICS do provide an example in the Party Wall guidance note 6th edition, we expect the Schedule of Condition should provide the following:
- The purpose of the Schedule of Condition
- Location details and extent of the property
- Description of the property construction
- What is included or excluded from the assessment and reference to any specific lease clause if appropriate
- What plans have been provided for the survey
- Photographic evidence
- Itemised record of the location, construction and condition of items included in the survey. This will include a record of any existing defects noted.
It is important that where a Schedule of Condition is used and appended to a legal document, such as a lease or a Party Wall Award, the Schedule is specifically referenced within the document rather than just being kept on file. This avoids any instances in future of the document being prepared for the purposes it is intended.