The ins and outs of a dilapidation report
While construction and building activity may only be confined to the construction site, this doesn’t mean that other places aren’t affected. Just as noise can carry to nearby buildings and houses, construction works can physically impact nearby buildings.
Dilapidation reports are used to document the condition of surrounding buildings prior to the start of a construction project. Upon completion of the project, the same surrounding buildings will be inspected. The comparison of the before and after dilapidation reports will help to determine if the construction project has caused any damaged to nearby buildings.
What’s a dilapidation report?
While the word ‘dilapidation’ might make you think of a building that’s one strong breeze away from collapsing, the use of the word here refers to any state of disrepair, from a squeaky floorboard to cracks in a wall to the building barely standing. They may also be know as building condition reports.
In short, a dilapidation report is a comprehensive record of any existing damage or disrepair to a building. It does not matter if the building being inspected is brand new or centuries old.
When do you need to get a dilapidation report?
Depending on legal requirements in your area, construction companies and developers may be obliged to get a dilapidation report before beginning construction. Property owners may also choose to get a dilapidation report prior to a nearby construction project for their own peace of mind.
The types of project that usually require dilapidation reports include high-rise developments, road constructions, large building constructions, excavations, demolition works and any building activity that may lead to serious ground vibrations or land movements.
Who provides a dilapidation report?
The report should be obtained from a registered builder and licensed building inspector. They must be authorised, currently licensed, fully insured and reputable in order to carry out the necessary building inspections required for a dilapidation report. Your building consultant will have a good working knowledge of what to look for when it comes to assessing nearby properties for pre-existing damage.
What is included in a dilapidation report?
Data is key when it comes to a dilapidation report. The building consultant will take measurements, notes and photographs, and even make diagrams in order to accurately show what the building looks like before any nearby construction project begins. Have a look at our blog on the Why I need a registered builder for an inspection?
This information will then be reviewed and signed by the owner of the property and the party completing the construction. Nothing is too great or too small to be recorded in a dilapidation report. These are just a few of the things the building inspector will look for:
- Cracks in internal or external walls
- Cracks in tiles, concrete or pavers
- Loose or missing architraves or roof tiles
- Indications of ground movement (like doors no longer closing properly)
- Water damage
Why do I need a dilapidation report?
The simple reason as to why you may need a dilapidation report is that it is a precautionary measure in case there are disagreements over whether damage occurred because of nearby construction or not. As the building inspector is independent and unbiased, they can be trusted to accurately record the state of things before construction begins. This means that if there does come a time when owners of a building suggest damage has occurred because of nearby construction, it is possible to look at an accurate representation of the building prior to construction to validate these claims. Ultimately, a dilapidation report can protect you from fraudulent damage claims and help to resolve disputes.