Schedules of Condition for Commercial Premises

What is a Schedule of Condition?

In simple terms, a Schedule of Condition (often referred to as a SOC) records the condition of a building as existed at a specific point in time.

When are they used?

We regularly undertake surveys of Leasehold premises to prepare a Schedule of Condition to be appended to a proposed lease in order to benchmark the state of the premises prior to a Tenant taking occupation with the aim of limiting the future repairing liability of the Tenant. In order to ensure that the SOC provides the intended protection, it should be agreed and signed by both parties, and appropriately referenced within the Lease.

Schedules of Condition are also often used to set out the condition of a property prior to the commencement of construction or excavation works taking place in close proximity to the subject building. Where such works are subject to the requirements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, a Schedule of Condition will often be appended to a Party Wall Award.

How much detail is included in a Schedule of Condition?

We generally provide two types of Schedules of Condition, known as a Photographic Schedule of Condition and a Full Schedule of Condition.

Photographic Schedule of Condition

As the title would suggest, a Photographic Schedule of condition is prepared in a simple format, relying predominantly on photographs. This can be a cost effective and time efficient way to produce a Schedule of Condition although there are limitations in relying purely on the visual images shown in each photograph.

Full Schedule of Condition

To fully record the condition of a building, a detailed written document is recommended in addition to photographs; referred to as a Full Schedule of Condition. This would typically include a general description of the property along with a detailed tabular schedule which would document the form of construction and condition of each building element, supported by a photographic record to give evidence.

Preparing a Full Schedule of Condition enables issues such as the following to be fully documented;

  • Building movement
  • Dampness and leaks (which may not necessarily be apparent in photographs alone)
  • Crack widths
  • Full extent of specific defects such as cut edge corrosion and such like, including measurements where necessary

Specialist information can also be included in a schedule to fully record the condition of a building, such as the following;

  • CCTV surveys of below ground drainage systems
  • Testing and commissioning certification in relation to building services (mechanical and electrical)
  • Engineers reports in relation to specific installations (such as passenger lifts as an example)

Dependent upon the situation, it can also be worthwhile preparing a layout drawing and/or a schedule of fixtures and fittings for inclusion within the Schedule of Condition. Such information can become invaluable at lease end in providing clarity as to exactly what existed at the commencement of the term and thereby help to avoid potential disputes over reinstatement requirements.