Schedule of condition of property
A schedule of condition (SOC) is a factual record of the condition of a property, normally prepared for legal or contractual reasons. Schedules of condition can be prepared for either residential or commercial buildings.
They create a complete record of the condition of the property on a particular date that can be used as a benchmark against which its condition can be assessed in the future and any changes identified.
Schedules of condition may be prepared under the instruction of a landlord, a tenant, an employer, a contractor, or a neighbour. Appointing an independent expert to prepare a schedule of condition should help to give it greater weight if there are subsequent claims or negotiations. It may be beneficial to seek agreement of the other party that the schedule is a fair reflection of the condition of the property when it is prepared.
It is important to recognise that identifying a change in the condition of a property does not necessarily attribute blame for that change.
For commercial or residential property leases, a schedule of condition can be required when a new lease is entered into to confirm the condition of the property. This ensures that the condition recorded so that any existing defects and their repair costs are identified prior to a commitment to lease being made, and can help with lease negotiation. It can also be used to establish responsibility for dilapidations and reinstatement, typically towards the end of a lease.
A schedule of conditions might be prepared before construction begins for adjacent properties or structures that will be retained, or if part of a building is being refurbished. This not only helps protect against potential claims from neighbours, who may only begin to notice pre-existing defects in their property when the noise and vibration of construction begins, but can also establish contractor liability for damage to the employer’s properties.
For both commercial and residential properties, a schedule of condition can be prepared where the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 applies. This is to provide evidence of the condition of the neighbouring building prior to works beginning. The party wall surveyors can then undertake a re-inspection of the building and determine whether any damage has occurred and also what repairs should be carried out.
Typically, schedules of condition are prepared by surveyors and may comprise:
- The purpose of the schedule.
- Details of the location and extent of the property being assessed.
- A general description of the construction of the property.
- The time, date and weather conditions under which the inspection was made.
- Aspects of the property included in or excluded from the assessment.
- The purposes for which the schedule may be relied.
- Drawings of the property.
- Definitions (for example, ‘slight’, ‘moderate’ and ‘severe’).
- A written schedule setting out the location and nature of each item inspected (inside and out) and its condition and any other remarks. This will describe the overall condition and may identify existing issues such as cracks, staining, holes, decay, discolouration, leaks and other defects, disrepair or deterioration
- Accompanying photographs and video.
- Specific tests that may have been carried out.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- Party wall act.
- Schedule of defects.
- Schedule of dilapidations.
- Scott schedule.
 External references
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