When it comes to construction projects involving neighboring properties, party walls play a
significant role. To make sure everyone is treated fairly and disputes are minimized, it’s crucial
to have a clear and detailed schedule of conditions. In this article, we’ll explain why a
schedule of condition is so important for party walls and how it can protect you and your
What is a Schedule of Condition?
A schedule of condition is a detailed record that describes the current condition of a property or
properties next to where construction is planned. It’s like a snapshot that captures how things
look before any work starts. This record is important for future reference and comparison in the
event of damage disputes.
When is a Schedule of Conditions Needed?
A schedule of condition is usually required when construction work could potentially affect the
structure of neighboring properties. By identifying any risks upfront, it helps protect the rights of
both the people doing the construction (Building Owners) and the people living next door
What Does a Schedule of Conditions Include?
A detailed schedule of condition includes written descriptions, photographs, and sometimes
videos. It provides a comprehensive view of the property’s current condition, allowing a
thorough assessment of any changes that might occur during or after the construction work. For
example, it can measure the size of cracks to help identify any new damage and understand the
existing condition better.
The Role of a Party Wall Surveyor:
A Party Wall Surveyor, often a qualified surveyor from the RICS, is responsible for creating the
schedule of conditions. They have to be fair and unbiased. They arrange access to the
neighboring properties through the Adjoining Owners and conduct a detailed inspection. By
documenting any existing damage carefully, they make sure the schedule of condition report is
complete and accurate.
Benefits of Having a Schedule of Condition:
There are several advantages to having a schedule of condition. Firstly, it protects Building
Owners from false claims of damage, providing evidence to disprove any unfounded
accusations. Secondly, it protects the Adjoining Owners as it serves as important
documentation for insurance purposes, making it easier to make claims if needed. Lastly, a
schedule of condition acts as a starting point for comparison in case of future disputes, helping
determine who is responsible for any new damage.
To understand how a schedule of condition works in practice, let’s consider a dispute involving a
loft conversion. Under a party wall agreement produced by an Agreed Surveyor, a contractor
unintentionally caused damage to the neighboring property. Fortunately, because there was a
schedule of condition, the damage was quickly identified when the construction was completed.
By referring back to the initial report, the surveyor could determine if the damage was due to the
notifiable work. This helped resolve the issue promptly and prevent further arguments.
A schedule of condition is vital for party wall projects. It ensures fairness, protects the rights of
all parties involved, and reduces the likelihood of disputes. As a Chartered Surveyor, using a
detailed schedule of condition strengthens your position, safeguards the Building Owners and
Adjoining owners, and contributes to the success of construction projects.
Find out more and book a Schedule of Condition for your project today! We are happy to help at The Party Wall Guru.