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A dilapidation report details the condition of neighbouring properties and / or the condition of council assets (such as footpaths, kerb and gutter, roadway,
trees, etc) prior to the commencement of construction on your property, and often again at the completion of the works.
The report provides protection against future claims for damage which may be alleged to be as a result of those works. Parties with an interest in the condition of a particular property at the end of a building project sign the report with a view to it being a safeguard should a dispute arise.
When a dilapidation report is commissioned, your consultant will make the necessary arrangements with the owners and / or residents of the neighbouring properties to gain entry in order to conduct a detailed inspection of the relevant interior and exterior parts of the dwelling/s and the surrounding property. The consultant will detail and photograph any visible issues or potential issues (or may even note a lack of issues) with regard to the current condition of the adjoining property and the work about to be undertaken on your property.
If required, your consultant will also detail the condition of the council owned property to the street frontage and any adjoining land, as any damage to council assets is usually charged back to the property owner. Some councils even require a bond prior to the commencement of work to ensure that funds are available for any rectification or repair work that they deem necessary.
A thorough record of all cracking and movement related issues as well as an understanding of the possible causes of such movement is paramount during these inspections, particularly where excavation or heavy machinery is required during the course of the adjacent works.
More often than not, the adjoining building owner will believe that any cracking or movement that occurs to their dwelling and / or its surrounds during or after building works next door are due to the works. The dilapidation report can assist in determining if the issue was pre-existing or if it is indeed as a result of the building works.
Additionally, issues such as alleged physical damage from plant, equipment or trade works, site drainage issues, disturbance of boundary fences and retaining walls and the pre and post construction condition of garden beds and other site works are often causes of disputes between neighbours during and after building works.
A comprehensively detailed and well presented dilapidation report is your only insurance against unfounded claims of damage as a result of building works on your property.
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