What Should a Schedule of Conditions Survey Contain?

Often people underestimate the level of detail that is required within a schedule of conditions survey and end up missing valuable information and evidence. In this blog, Crest Surveyors will explain exactly what should be included in a schedule of conditions survey so that you can feel confident next time you complete one, or have one conducted on your behalf.

So, what should a schedule of conditions survey contain? A schedule of condition survey should contain the purpose of the document, details of the location and extent of the property, any restrictions and weather conditions on the day, a description and explanation of the conditions of the property elements, photographic evidence, and definitions of descriptive terms used. 

Keep reading to find out more about the schedule of conditions survey, including whether they are a legal requirement and who produces them. 

What Should be Included in a Schedule of Conditions Survey?

A schedule of condition survey is a detailed assessment of a property’s condition that is usually completed before a lease is signed, and is often saved for future use. It is important that all relevant factors are covered within the survey. Below we have listed the typical features of a schedule of conditions survey, so you know exactly what to include.

The Purpose of the SurveyThe first part of the schedule of conditions survey should detail the purpose of the document. This helps to lay out a road map for the expectations of the document and can also include a table of contents. 
Details of the Location and Extent of the PropertyThe second part of the document should include the location and details on the extent of the property. For example, the location may have a significant effect on the valuation of a property if it is in quite a wealthy area. What’s more, the document should detail additional areas that have been evaluated in the survey such as parking spaces or gardens. This is a helpful context of the property that may be considered when a property is being leased or sold.
Restrictions of the Inspection It is also important to detail any restrictions that may have impacted the outcome of the schedule of conditions survey. For example, if a neighbour was having construction work completed. This may have impacted the extent to which certain areas of the property could have been assessed.
Weather Conditions and the Date of InspectionBoth the date and the weather conditions on the day of the survey should be detailed within the document. This is because the weather could affect the conditions of the property on the day and may influence the survey ratings. 
Description of the Property and condition of Elements Next, there needs to be a description of the property which includes all aspects of the building. For example the roof, walls, windows, guttering, drainpipes, steps, external walls, water pipes, extensions, ceilings and more. Under each of these sections it is important to provide a brief description of the condition of these features. This will act as a benchmark for when the property is leased. 
Photographs or Relevant /Drawings of the Property. If certain elements of the property are difficult to describe in words or could simply benefit from it, images and drawings can be used. These can help to validate the descriptions and conditions of elements that are described in the document. This section can also be useful if a dispute is taken to court because it can act as useful evidence. 
Definitions of Terms Used The final section of the schedule of conditions survey should be definitions of the terms used in the document. For example, if some damage is described as minor, a clear definition of the word must be detailed in the document so that the user can understand the writer’s interpretation of the damage. 

What are the Objectives of Condition Survey?

The main objective of completing a schedule of condition survey is to place a property into one of the following categories:

  • No signs of distress
  • Some signs of distress that can be repaired to satisfy relevant safety laws
  • Damaged beyond repair and recommended to be demolished

By completing a schedule of conditions survey, the condition of the property can be assessed to determine its condition which can then later be used in court if there are any legal issues. For example, if a tenant claims that some damage to a property was present before they moved in, this documentation can be used to prove otherwise. 

Is a Schedule of Condition Survey a Legal Requirement?

A schedule of conditions survey is not a legal requirement. However, it is recommended that one is completed before a property is leased. Furthermore, despite it not being a requirement of the Party Wall Act 1996, it can support people who are in legal disputes with neighbours that are completing work on walls that are adjoining to other walls. 

Due to the schedule of conditions survey being so useful as a form of evidence, most property experts or surveying companies would recommend that one is completed before every lease. They do not have to take a significant amount of time, especially when they are completed by an experienced surveyor, and they can result in a lot of money being saved during court disputes. 

Who Produces a Schedule of Conditions?

A schedule of condition survey can be completed by a variety of people depending on the preference and instruction of the landlord. The landlord can decide whether the survey is completed by themselves, a tenant, an employer, or a contractor. As long as the person can be trusted to complete the document truthfully and accurately, almost anyone has the ability to complete the survey. 

However, if you wish to err on the side of caution, it is recommended to have the schedule of condition survey completed by someone with experience. This is because  they will have the knowledge and experience to ensure that no important aspects are missed out of the document. The last thing you want is to be lacking some relevant evidence if a dispute is taken to court. 

Schedule of Condition Surveys at Crest Surveyors

At Crest Surveyors, our experienced surveyors are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and provide a variety of property surveys, including schedule of condition surveys.  

Get in touch today to find out how we can support you with your schedule of conditions survey requirements/ 

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