Different types of buildings and properties require different kinds of surveys, and it’s both important and advantageous to find which is the most suitable for your requirements. We are often asked by clients purchasing properties if they should pay for a survey or schedule of condition. Our short answer is “yes” in nearly all cases, and there are several reasons why.

What Does a Survey Typically Entail?

Establishing the boundaries of your property is likely the first thing a professional surveyor will do. The extent of the property will be documented on the survey along with the location of structures in relation to property lines, as well as any utility easements on the land. Fences, paths and driveways are all site features that will be inspected.

A surveyor will also look into whether the property has the appropriate zoning classification for how you intend to utilise your property.

For the building itself, a survey will include an inspection of every accessible, exposed, and visible area of the building. Foundations and floors will be assessed, along with doors and window frames. Damp levels and potential issues such as dry and wet rot will also be addressed. Gas, electricity, central heating, drainage and plumbing systems will be visually inspected but not generally tested.

Why Are Building Surveys Beneficial?

  • They help avoid legal disputes when buying or selling properties, old or new.
  • If you suspect a problem or have concerns about the condition of the building, they can help avoid expensive and unexpected surprises, and provide you with peace of mind.
  • They will determine if the agreed price is reasonable for the property.
  • Surveys are typically required to acquire a permit for any new structure such as a fence or car park.
  • They can help with price negotiations. If a survey reveals £10,000 of work is required, it’s common and acceptable to ask the seller to reduce their price by the amount or rectify the problem before the sale is finalised.
  • Surveys allow you to make an informed and reasoned judgement as to whether or not to proceed with your purchase.

What Is a Schedule of Condition?

A schedule of condition is a formal record of the state of a property and is typically prepared for contractual or legal reasons. This record can be used as a benchmark to assess future conditions and identify changes. A schedule of condition can include photographs, written descriptions and details of specific tests carried out, diagrams, and any other information that may be useful in the future.

Why Have a Schedule of Condition Prepared?

A SOC is primarily useful in protecting you against dilapidations claims when leasing a property, but it can also be beneficial for property owners to have one completed. A schedule of condition can highlight any remediation work that should be completed on a property.

It can also be useful to have a schedule of condition completed for adjacent properties or structures before undertaking a construction project, in order to limit potential claims from neighbours who may begin to notice pre-existing defects in their property only after the work has begun.

About Us

Fairhurst Estates is a well-established firm of chartered surveyors with years of experience in the commercial property sector. If you would like to learn more about the comprehensive list of services we offer to commercial property partners, call us on 0844 879 3613 or Email enquiries@fairhurst-estates.co.uk