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What is a Schedule of Condition?

A Schedule of Condition plays a crucial role in the party wall process, serving as a detailed record of the condition of a property before any adjacent construction or renovation work begins. This document is particularly significant in situations where neighbouring properties share a party wall, and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires parties to undertake certain procedures to minimize potential disputes.


The Schedule of Condition survey is typically conducted by a qualified surveyor who inspects the interior and exterior condition of the affected property. The goal is to document the existing state of the property, capturing any pre-existing damage or defects. This comprehensive record acts as a baseline for comparison once the construction work is completed. By having a detailed account of the property's condition before the project starts, any disputes that may arise regarding damage during or after the construction can be effectively addressed.


In the party wall process, the party wall surveyor appointed by the property owner initiating the work (known as the building owner’s surveyor) is responsible for preparing the Schedule of Condition Survey. This surveyor is usually also be attended by the adjoining property owner's surveyor to ensure a fair and accurate representation of the property's condition is documented. The survey should cover all relevant elements of the property, such as walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors.


Once the survey is complete, the Schedule of Condition is compiled into a formal document. This document includes detailed descriptions of the property's condition, often accompanied by photographs. Each element is meticulously documented, noting any existing cracks, damage, or imperfections. The surveyor's expertise is crucial in ensuring that the information is not only thorough but also presented in a way that is clear and easily understood.


The Schedule of Condition report serves several important purposes within the party wall process. Firstly, it provides a benchmark against which any damage caused by the construction work can be assessed. If a dispute arises, this document serves as an objective reference point, helping to distinguish between pre-existing conditions and new damage resulting from the construction activities.


Moreover, the Schedule of Condition Survey promotes transparency and fairness between property owners involved in the Party Wall process. It establishes a shared understanding of the property's condition before work commences, reducing the likelihood of disputes and facilitates smoother communication throughout the construction project.


In conclusion, a Schedule of Condition is a valuable component of the party wall process, ensuring that property owners are equipped with a comprehensive and unbiased record of the condition of their property before neighbouring construction work begins. This document not only safeguards the interests of both parties but also promotes a collaborative and informed approach to managing potential disputes in the complex realm of party wall matters.


If you would like a schedule of condition carrying out, or you need help preparing and serving party wall notices, The Party Wall People can help you – Contact us for free advice –

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