Schedule of Condition survey - when do you need one?

What is a Schedule of Condition survey and when do you need one? Our chartered building surveyor explains...

A schedule of condition provides a detailed record of a property’s internal and external condition at a particular point in time. Here, we offer a brief overview of what a schedule of condition includes and in what circumstances a schedule of condition is recommended.

What is a schedule of condition survey?

A schedule of condition is a type of property report that provides written and/or photographic evidence of the current state of repair of a commercial or residential dwelling.

Similar to a homebuyer’s report, a schedule of condition survey documents a property’s condition on the inside and outside, most commonly through a combination of written observations supported by photographs taken on-site at the time of the property inspection.

These photographs and written remarks are then compiled into one singular document that provides an accurate account of the property’s state of repair as it appeared on the day the inspection was conducted.

What is the purpose of a schedule of condition?

The purpose of a schedule of condition is to accurately capture and record all aspects of a property’s material and aesthetic condition. These observations are then gathered into a formal report that can be relied upon should there be a dispute about the property’s condition or state or repair in the future.

In layman’s terms, a schedule of condition offers a reliable record that can be used for evidentiary purposes to compare changes to the property that occurred after the schedule of condition was created, in instances where the property’s condition is being questioned or challenged.

Without such a document it can be difficult to prove or disprove that any depreciation or damage to the property was not already present before the inspection took place. A schedule of condition, therefore, acts as an official record that can be used to make a comparison between a property’s present day and past condition to determine liability for repairs or defects.

What does a schedule of condition survey include?

A schedule of condition survey usually includes a combination of written statements and photographs that illustrate the property surveyor’s findings. This is typically what is known as a full schedule of condition.

The photographic schedule of condition survey consists of a series of photographs without the observations from the surveyor. In most cases it’s preferable to opt for the full schedule of condition report. This will expand on the surveyor’s findings in more detail so you can fully comprehend the extent of the property’s state of repair.

In a full schedule of condition report, the information is generally laid out in the following way:

- A summary paragraph or introduction specifying the reason for the schedule’s creation
- A description of the property being inspected
- Details of the property’s location
- Any restrictions that have impacted the inspection
- The inspection date and the weather conditions at the time of inspection
- The purposes for which the schedule may be relied upon
- Drawings of the property, where relevant
- A written schedule of observations, detailing the condition of the property by room
- Accompanying photographs, showcasing the surveyor’s findings
- Mentions of the types of tests the property surveyor has conducted
- Definitions of the terms included within

Who conducts a schedule of condition survey?

Inspecting a property and drawing up a schedule of condition survey falls within the remit of a RICS chartered surveyor. They will visit the property in person on an agreed date in order to undertake the inspection and capture the images that evidence their findings. The full schedule of condition report will be compiled and issued within a few days of the inspection date.

When is a schedule of condition survey needed?

There are a few instances in which a schedule of condition is necessary.

By far the most common is for property lettings. In these instances, a schedule of condition is drawn up prior to a new tenancy commencing and equips the landlord and tenant with a record of the property’s state of repair before the tenancy ensues. Both parties are given an opportunity to consult on the schedule to ensure the contents and findings are agreed. On commercial leases schedules of condition can serve as an invaluable tool to help tenants limit their liabilities under the terms of the lease which in turn will help protect their interest at lease end, especially when considering dilapidation claims from the landlord.

The schedule, and any liability for repairs, are also commonly referred to within the tenancy agreement or the property’s lease, which stipulates the expectations of the tenant to maintain the property’s condition.

At the tenancy end, or even at intervals throughout the tenancy period, the property may be inspected by (or on behalf of) the landlord, who will rely on the schedule of condition to determine if the property has incurred any damage since the schedule was created.

Other instances in which it’s common to draw up a schedule of condition include for party wall or access issues, or in construction projects in which part of an existing or neighbouring building is being retained. In these instances, as with lettings, it’s imperative to get the schedule created prior to any works commencing on site. Should a dispute ensue over damages at any point during the building process, the schedule of condition may well be utilised as a means for negotiating costs or mediation, should the matter escalate to court.

Need a schedule of condition survey?

At Sillence Hurn our chartered surveyors are RICS qualified with extensive experience of conducting schedule of condition surveys for both residential and commercial clients within Hampshire, London, and the surrounding areas.

If you require a schedule of condition survey for a property you’re letting, a construction project, or for party wall purposes, contact our team today for a no-obligation quote on 02380 014786 or email

View some of our Schedule of Condition case studies below.


Disclaimer: Please note this article is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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