What is a dilapidation report?

The purpose of a Dilapidation report is to essentially have a signed document recording the current state of the building and/or surrounding buildings before construction, excavation or demolition works begin.

The Dilapidation (or Condition) Report identifies any visible cracks or movement within the property and its surrounds including the driveway, paths, and fences. Photographic evidence of defects are included in the report.

This type of report is normally requested by a construction company and or builder prior to substantial works being carried out. A Dilapidation/Condition Report provides the contractor with an independent record of any adjoining property’s condition prior to the commencement of building works. The report may be used by the contractor as evidence if there is any dispute between any property owner claiming that the contractor’s works have resulted in damage to their property.

Should I get a dilapidation report?

A dilapidation report acts as a legal record for the property owner and contractor, and so can reduce potential issues down the track. Having a clear ‘before’ picture of the state of a property before you begin works can ensure there’s no confusion about the effects of the works, once they’re completed.

If you plan to have heavy machinery on or near the site, for example, getting a dilapidation report completed beforehand means that you can’t be held accountable for that crack in your neighbour’s driveway that they’ve never had fixed. Without the report, they could make a claim that it happened during your works, and you could have to pay for the repairs.

Of course, you can always take before and after pics yourself, but without a dilapidation report carried out by an independent building inspector, these pictures will not be considered a legal document. By engaging a building consultant to carry out the condition report, you are also getting their experience and knowledge of the industry.

Special Purpose Inspection

Often defects can appear without explanation. If you have identified an item of concern within your property and would like a second opinion from a suitably licensed and qualified inspector then you should get a special purpose inspection.

Our inspectors will inspect the area of concern and provide you with an independent opinion and recommendations as to your next step.

Defects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cracks in walls

  • Subsidence

  • Excessive moisture

  • Ceiling deflection/deformation

What should I do next?

Depending on your scope of works and where your property is situated in relation to others, you may not be legally required to obtain a dilapidation report. However, we consider them an essential part of any construction project and highly recommend having one done no matter your project to protect yourself from litigious neighbours and unnecessary costs and stress.

In some situations, the report will be a requirement by your local authority in order to get development approval, so it’s a good idea to get your report arranged sooner rather than later in any circumstance.