We get many requests for building surveys and schedules of condition from clients whom are purchasing commercial property.  There is a pertinent question in what to prescribe to a client who is in the process of buying a commercial property, should it be a building survey or a schedule of condition? 

The question is also pertinent for a client whom is taking a long lease, say a 10 year plus lease of a commercial property. Would they be best served having a schedule of condition, which would almost always be the case for a short lease of under 5 years, or a building survey to identify in more detail structural issues if they are signing a full repairing and insuring lease? 

The house view at RES Property Surveyors is that in most cases, the building survey is the most appropriate because the building survey is ultimately much more detailed.  A building survey will identify defects, causes and suggest remedies.

By contrast, a schedule of condition should identify the same defects, but the schedule of condition will produce less detail in the remedies or implications of those defects.  That said, any building survey on a commercial property should have full regard of the intended use. 

The reporting within a building survey for a commercial property that is going to be owner-occupied might be of a completely different ton to that of a building survey for a commercial property that is held as an investment. 

Obviously, the building survey on an owner-occupied property may major more on details such as configurations and defects, which the client will need to put right. Whereas, if the property is to be held as an investment, a significant number of the potential existing and future defects may be caught under the repairing obligation of the occupational lease.

Here at RES Property Surveyors, we can produce both schedules of condition and building surveys and we can manipulate the usual building survey format to provide a detailed provision for costs. 

Ultimately, we normally provide the client with both a sample building survey and schedule of condition, describe the pros and cons to the client and allow the client to make its own decision.  In some instances, clients opt for the building survey with the schedule of condition appended. 

RES Property Surveyors are here to talk clients through both building survey and schedule of condition options.