Schedules of Condition
Repairs & Alterations
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The commercial building survey will normally be commissioned by corporate or business clients for the purpose of either purchasing a building or where the taking of a lease is being contemplated. The method of inspection will be quite similar to the domestic building survey but the surveyor encounters a much wider range of construction methods in commercial buildings including steel frames, reinforced concrete, curtain walling and unusual types of roof construction.
In addition the surveyor will need to give attention to such I matters as Health & Safety, The Disability Discrimination Act and The Party Wail Act. The surveyor often encounters hazardous materials in older buildings where there may be a need for specialist tests and it may also be necessary to appoint experts in the areas of electrical and mechanical services. In this situation the surveyor will draw together the information gathered for presentation to the client as a completed project.
When taking instructions from prospective clients for this type of service we will always either meet the client or discuss his requirements in some depth so that we are able to focus on the particular circumstances of the proposal before us. Our initial consultation and sufficient preliminary advice to enable the client to decide what is required would normally be free of charge.
For commercial enquiries please contact us at the address below with your specific needs.
Walls have been built to protect us from the weather since time began. They are our shelter and our security and they separate us from our neighbours. Years ago, in the City of London, the walls dividing neighbour from neighbour were so badly built that in Pudding Lane a fire in one house destroyed the whole of the City, the Great Fire. It was this catastrophe among others that led in due course to laws being passed to control the quality of separating walls and these laws in modern form were drawn together in the Party Wall Act of 1996 by way of the earlier London Building Acts. The separating walls between buildings came over time to be known as party walls or party structures depending upon the circumstances. It is a responsibility between neighbours to keep these separating walls in good condition and to agree with each other how to go about the works of repair or alteration when the need arises.
The Party Wall Act is a law of which surveyors can be proud. Although greatly beneficial to owners of all types of buildings the Party Wall Act is nevertheless complex. It applies with equal relevance to commercial and residential properties and cannot be applied without the services of surveyors who are appointed within the meaning of the Act.
We are members of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club, a learned body founded in 1974 for the exchange of views on party wall matters and who have published guidance notes, commentaries and advice to Government, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and other professional bodies. As members of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club, we are always pleased to offer an initial informal and free consultation and to accept appointments as building owner’s surveyor, adjoining owner’s surveyor, agreed surveyor or third surveyor.
Properties of all types fall in to disrepair over time and one of the most common duties of the Chartered Building Surveyor is to participate in maintaining the country’s stock of buildings in good repair and condition. A dilapidated building is a diminishing asset to both property owners and tenants and an eye to minimising disrepair is a wise consideration.
As Chartered Building Surveyors we are more generally called upon to advise commercial landlords and tenants although private homes in both the public and private sectors need constant attention.
To commercial landlords we always recommend a regular inspection of their property stock. Most leases reserve a right to the landlord or his surveyor to visit the property from time to time and if necessary, to ask his tenant to put right any faults in the state of repair and decoration of the building. This course of action is equally important during the currency of a lease in addition to the more routine inspections carried out at rent reviews and lease ends. A well and sensibly maintained property will always smooth the relationship between landlord and tenant
To commercial tenants we are available to advise and negotiate on their behalf where landlord’s schedules have been served and where repair works have been requested. Contrary to popular belief a full repairing lease is not a blanket invitation to a landlord to have his investment rebuilt to suit his needs. It is not unheard of for tenants to be asked by their landlords to carry out quite unnecessary works and we are well placed to mitigate the losses a tenant might suffer as a result of his landlord’s actions.
Landlords and tenants are invited to call or e-mail us with a view to an informal conversation at no initial charge.
Schedules of Condition
Whatever the condition of a particular property, it is useful to maintain a record of its present state of repair. Schedules to record the condition of buildings are the accepted medium by which this can be achieved.
Our schedules are set out in a user-friendly format and can be accompanied by photographs where appropriate. They are commonly used in legal proceedings, party wall agreements and the negotiation and settlement of leases. In this way owners or lessees of buildings have an easy and straightforward way of maintaining a written record of the condition of any element of the construction of their property.
As Chartered Building Surveyors we are skilled in this area of the property profession with our ability to identify defects, quality of materials and methods and standards of construction. Our clients are provided with concise and clearly presented reports and we are always pleased to engage in informal discussion prior to proceeding with the appropriate work.
Repairs & Alterations
Most property will need to be repaired from time to time. Leaking roofs and rising damp are common defects in older houses and in modern property there will be defects in design and construction that will become apparent during the early years after construction. Commercial property can similarly fall into disrepair due to general deterioration over time.
There is a continuing need for alterations to all types of buildings and this type of work can be complex and technically difficult to carry out, businesses frequently need to enlarge their premises, to alter their configuration and to comply with lease requirements.
We have long experience of property maintenance at all levels and are skilled in designing the best possible use for buildings of all types including the preparation of specifications, supervising building work in progress and negotiating with clients and contractors.
The construction process always begins with the initial feasibility and design studies, a function normally fulfilled by architects and design consultants. Following on from the design process our contract supervision service involves inviting tenders, negotiating with contractors and thereafter supervising the building works in progress. At the end of the contract defects will be recorded, remedial measures supervised and final accounts settled.
Our skills and experience are found in bringing together builders and property owners where otherwise there is the potential for misunderstanding, dispute, poor quality of construction and bad value for money. We are frequently advised to report on unacceptable levels of construction and we are also able to offer a one off site visit service to support both contractors and clients where there are grounds for doubt with the quality of the work or timescale of the project.
Either independently or in association with Architects, Chartered Quantity Surveyors and Consulting Engineers, we, as Chartered Building Surveyors, are able to offer expertise at all stages in the construction process.
We are active in both the commercial and residential sectors and we regularly deal with listed buildings issues.