Preparation of Schedules of Conditions
The most common reason for a Schedule of Condition to be requested is to limit a tenant’s liability for dilapidations at the end of a lease term. It is normally prepared by the tenant’s surveyor just prior to the lease being entered into. The Schedule records the condition of the building and site, usually in both photographic and text format.
At Stephen D Buxton & Associates we fully understand the importance of Schedules of Condition to tenants and are well versed in preparing them.
From experience there are three important issues to consider when preparing Schedules of Condition.
Firstly, it is important that the tenant seeks the landlord’s approval to a Schedule being attached to the lease. It will be appreciated that Landlords do not like Schedules of Condition because the liability for repairs is limited and consequently the value of the property from an investment point of view can be affected.
Secondly, it is vitally important that the Schedule is prepared thoroughly, in order to effectively challenge a Terminal Schedule of Dilapidations which will be prepared by the landlord’s surveyor at the end of the lease term. A poorly prepared Schedule of Condition only benefits the landlord.
Thirdly, the Schedule of Condition must be referred to in the lease and be attached to it. Sometimes we find that leases refer to a Schedule of Condition in the repairing covenants but the Schedule has either not been prepared or it has been prepared but overlooked when the lease is completed. A Schedule of Condition is only legally valid if it is attached to the lease.
Schedules of Condition are also used in Party Wall work. The Schedule is prepared noting the condition of a building or wall and then agreed with the opposing surveyor before work starts. The Schedule then acts as a reference document and is referred to by the respective surveyors on completion of the Party Wall work in order to assess whether or not any damage has occurred during the carrying out of the works.
Again thoroughness in the preparation of the Schedule is paramount in order to avoid disputes and costly financial consequences.