Demolition and construction projects obviously have a substantial impact on the properties where they take place, but many property owners don’t realize just how much these projects can potentially affect their neighbours. If you’re planning to demolish an existing building or embark on a construction project on your commercial or residential property, it’s wise to protect your own best interests by obtaining thorough dilapidation inspections and reports.
What is a Dilapidation Inspection?
Many construction projects, especially those which require excavation or demolition of existing structures, have the potential to cause damage to surrounding buildings and infrastructure. A dilapidation inspection is a special purpose survey that determines the condition of those surrounding buildings and establishes a baseline before construction work begins.
By documenting existing faults or defects, a dilapidation report helps to mitigate losses and prevent disputes between you, your contractor and your neighbours. Without a report, it would be difficult, or downright impossible, for you or your contractor to show proof that damage to surrounding properties was not caused by your project, In the event that damage does occur to surrounding properties, a dilapidation inspection report draws a clear distinction between pre-existing problems and those which may have potentially been caused by construction or demolition on your property.
Dilapidation inspections should always be conducted by building inspectors with expertise in the building trades and no conflict of interest, for which there is potential if evaluations are conducted by your contractor. Working with a neutral third party affords you and your neighbours the highest level of protection by ensuring an honest, unbiased report.
How Builders and Property Owners Can Protect Themselves with Dilapidation Inspections
Excavation, demolition and building all require the use of heavy equipment, which can cause vibrations with the potential to damage surrounding structures. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for property owners to find themselves in dispute with their neighbors regarding such damages. Procuring dilapidation inspection reports is the best and most effective way of protecting yourself and your financial interests in the event of such damages, as a dilapidation report will document any existing gaps, cracking or instability before construction begins.
Should you be faced with claims relating to damages, you’ll be armed with comprehensive documentation indicating pre-existing defects for which your project is not responsible. Dilapidation inspections can cover public assets, in addition to private property, giving you peace of mind and some measure of protection from spurious claims of property damage. Without a dilapidation inspection report, you’ll have no way of disproving council or a neighbours’ claim that your project is responsible for damage to their property. By documenting existing faults before your project begins, however, you’re able to provide all involved parties with protection.
In addition to establishing a helpful baseline of neighbouring properties’ condition to afford protection in the event of a legal claim, dilapidation inspection reports may also be required by contractors and local authorities. Make sure your new project starts off on the right foot, and consider the many benefits of obtaining thorough inspections from a company that utilises qualified registered builders before your project begins.
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