SJN Building Consultants

Dilapidation Reports: why you should never start work without one

Dilapidation Reports: why you should never start work without one

Builders and developers take note: before your next construction project gets underway, ask yourself whether you’ve commissioned a Dilapidation Report to formally document the existing condition of neighbouring properties and surrounding assets. Not having one could be a costly mistake – you risk becoming liable for any damages alleged to have occurred on your watch unless you can prove otherwise.

 The catchy name that doesn’t tell the whole story

Don’t be fooled by the name: the term dilapidation would otherwise infer a property was in a ramshackle condition and likely beyond repair. But in fact the point of a Dilapidation Report is to record the precise shape a property is in before any neighbouring construction takes place that could adversely alter its condition. Typically, builders and developers are required to produce the report before being given the green light to start building works. Regardless, a Dilapidation Report is a wise investment that could protect against any claim for damages.

 Ever heard the saying better safe than sorry?

Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to construction. It’s not unusual to hear homeowners complain of defects such as cracking or other structural damage sustained as a direct result of neighbouring work. This could include building activity, excavation work or demolition. Developers or builders who bear the brunt of these grievances can avoid any erroneous claims – and safeguard their reputation – with a Dilapidation Report.

 Engaging an expert will pay dividends

An independent, unbiased report on the pre-existing condition of council infrastructure and/or neighbouring properties like the kerb and gutter, utility pits, water metres or power poles  prior to any construction commencing will circumvent messy (and costly) disputes about damages.

A professional inspector will identify any structural defects or other signs of dilapidation and document these together with photographic proof so the existence of these faults existing prior to any construction work cannot be denied.

It is recommended an inspection post-construction be carried out to inspect the pre-existing items and to identify any new damages.

The inspection spotlight

A Dilapidation Report by SJN Building Consultants starts with a thorough inspection, is followed by a report containing clear descriptions and is supported by high resolution photos.

We inspect areas that are susceptible to damage including, but not limited to:

  • Roadway
  • Kerb and gutter
  • Crossover and layback
  • Footpath
  • Neighbouring fences
  • Neighbouring structures
  • Telecom pits, water meters and the like
  • Light and power poles and other overhead utilities

Nobody wants to be the subject of a legal dispute but without the adequate proof that a Dilapidation Report offers, you could be hit with a bill for damages or a compensation claim. Don’t take the risk. Ask us how a Dilapidation Report can keep you out of the courtroom.