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Dilapidation Reports – Why They are Essential

It is not uncommon for defects to occur in property or land adjoining a construction site. Smart developers will always have a dilapidation survey carried out prior to commencing construction, as this will provide a clearer picture of the condition of the premises nearby to the construction site. Not only is this a precautionary measure, it could also save you thousands in the event of a fraudulent claim being lodged against you once construction is complete.

As a registered builder with more than 40+ years’ experience, I am well placed to carry out dilapidation surveys. In this blog post, I will be highlighting the reasons why they are essential.

Why Dilapidation Reports are Essential

  1. As a Precautionary Measure

No matter whether your project is a large-scale high-rise development, infrastructure, demolition, excavation or a residential build – there is always the risk of defects occurring in adjoining structures. The owners of adjoining properties may choose to pursue you for damages, and cost of repairs can quickly start to add up. It is important that both sides are treated fairly, and this is where a dilapidation report can help, as it helps to prove:

  1. Whether the damage was caused during construction or was pre-existing
  2. Who is at fault
  3. Insight into how it might have occurred

Construction is an intensive activity, and throughout the build there is potential for a range of damage to occur to adjacent properties. It is not uncommon for structural cracks to appear, along with water damage to walls and floors, cracks in the road or pathways and structural stresses to name a few.

In your dilapidation report, you will receive comprehensive photographs, video and written records based on my observations prior to you commencing construction. This report lets you as a developer know exactly where you stand in the event of a legal dispute, and it is also useful for the adjacent landowner if you wish to share this information voluntarily for their personal records.

  1. Minimise the Risk of Damage

A dilapidation report will give you a comprehensive understanding of the condition of adjoining property, and this will allow you to put safety measures in place to minimise the risk of damage during construction.

You might like to consider ways of:

  • Minimising Movement and Vibration from Machinery
  • Managing Water Overflow
  • Minimising Airborne Debris
  • Managing Building Waste
  • Working Effectively in Potentially Sensitive Areas

Keep in mind that it is not possible to eliminate the risk of damage entirely. If damage does occur, the dilapidation report will become a reference document during site restoration. Most people will want their asset returned to its original (or better) state, and comparing the finished restoration works against the photos will help you in achieving this quickly, and with a minimum of fuss.

  1. Evidence to be Used in Court

There are plenty of stories about landowners fraudulently claiming damages against contractors and developers. If you don’t have a dilapidation report, you may be up for a long and expensive legal battle which could potentially see you liable for damages unless you can prove you did not cause them.

Where damage is observed, my reports also include a remediation schedule, scope of works and cost estimates to reinstate the area to its previous condition.

Don’t Risk It – Contact SBDIR Today

Put simply, a dilapidation report is essential whether you are a property developer/contractor or homeowner about to commence a construction project. It will provide peace of mind for all parties and will also allow you to plan your project to minimise the risk of damage and inconvenience to neighbouring properties.

If you would like more information about my dilapidation reports service, please visit the service page on my website. To schedule a report, please contact me today via phone on 0419 416 040 or submit an enquiry on my website.