A dilapidation survey is a prudent step that you should go for if your premises are close to a small scale or large scale commercial construction project that will involve various construction-related activities such as demolition work, road works, pile driving or subdivisions. It is the best tool to protect your investment and avoid future disagreement over damages to your property due to construction works nearby.

In fact, a professional dilapidation survey is generally a mandatory requirement in any contractual obligation for construction projects. Where it is not mandatory, it is simply a best practice for a professional building contractor to carry out the dilapidation survey on the site before the work begins.

The dilapidation survey can be carried out on various sites such as:

  1. Commercial properties, industrial properties, properties under construction, residential properties or strata.
  2. Gardens, bushlands or even parks
  3. Roads, bike tracks, laneways or kerbing among other pathways.

The dilapidation survey can also be ordered by a buyer or seller of a property and must be carried out by a qualified and professional building inspector who will perform a comprehensive survey of your property and issue a dilapidation survey report.

The purpose of the dilapidation survey is to offer an appraisal of the defects or any structural faults that are seen in the building on the day of the survey, prior to the initiation of a major construction or demolition project.

This is necessary because major construction works can cause major structural flaws in adjoining buildings unless the contractor takes proper measures to protect the structures nearby. These are generally costly to repair. As a building owner, a dilapidation report is your insurance in managing risks that you may incur from the damages inflicted by nearby construction works.

During the appraisal, a qualified and professional building inspector will carry out a comprehensive survey on the condition of the property and put together a comprehensive report including photographic evidence of the pre-existing faults in the building. These will form part of the Dilapidation Survey report.

In case you notice any damage on your property during or after a major construction work in the vicinity of your premises, the Dilapidation Survey report will help you in getting your building repaired or making claims against the contractor in question.
The contractor undertaking the building works can also order a Dilapidation Survey to protect themselves from spurious claims or any future court action on damages that they may not be liable for.

The dilapidation survey must be comprehensive and of very high quality. The report should include the key attributes of the building with supporting evidence that includes internal and external photographs of the target property. This will give the readers of the survey some context on the state of the property. Any notable damage or cracks on the property must be photographed and carefully documented.
Whether you are a buyer, seller or a contractor planning construction works, the dilapidation survey provides a baseline that will indicate the accurate condition of the property just before the commencement of the building works.