Ultimate Guide to Dilapidation Reports

A dilapidation report is essential before construction is started on nearby buildings or when you’re looking to move into a new commercial property as a tenant. Examples of construction work include new buildings, renovation projects, road works, tunnelling, or demolitions.

When new constructions are operating near your property, a dilapidation report written before and after the work is completed will help to show if your property has been affected. Heavy machinery used in the building process can cause damage to nearby properties, and a dilapidation report will provide evidence if you decide to claim for any damages. In addition to your main building, a dilapidation report can also cover driveways, footpaths, roadside kerbs, and other items.

After neighbouring construction projects are completed, or a commercial tenancy is vacated, a second dilapidation report is prepared. This second report will be compared to the first one and will demonstrate if any changes to the building structure have occurred. After receiving this final report, it is possible to prove damages and seek a claim from the company or tenant that caused the problem.

What is a dilapidation report?

A dilapidation report is a report conducted by an independent inspector who will report on the condition of a property. The report will examine your property and note any existing damages along with its general condition. A dilapidation report is often conducted on a property before specific events (e.g., nearby construction projects or lease agreements).

Reports of neighbouring properties to any construction or demolition site should be carried out before any work commences. The report will provide any evidence of damages caused by the construction process and will help to ascertain if compensation is required.

A dilapidation report will usually take a few hours to complete, it will include written notes and photographs depicting the current condition of the structure in question. Depending on the works being carried out, special attention may be given to certain parts of the building that are likely to be affected.

In addition to your main building, the areas covered by a dilapidation report can include:

  • Nature strips
  • Yards
  • Fences
  • Driveways
  • Footpaths
  • Street guttering
  • Neighbouring houses
  • Other relevant areas as directed

A complete inspection with a dilapidation report is the best method for determining if any damages to your property are a direct result of the activities of others.

Who should pay for the dilapidation report?

An independent dilapidation report can be ordered by either the owner of the property or the person (or company) conducting any nearby construction work, or the tenant of a commercial property.

If your company is about to commence construction or lease a new commercial property, a dilapidation report is excellent as insurance against unwarranted claims made against you while working on or leasing a building. False claims for damages caused by construction works are more common than most people think. An independent dilapidation report can provide the evidence required to stave off unwanted litigation and false claims from unscrupulous people or businesses.

You can order a dilapidation report if you’re the property owner next to a construction project that has yet to commence or leasing a commercial space. You can use this report to prove if there is any damage to your property after the works cease or the lease ends.

When is a dilapidation report required?

There are only a few times where dilapidation reports are required by law. These scenarios can include extensive demolitions or excavations. Other projects that may legally require a dilapidation report include road construction, pipe laying work, tunnelling, or any construction that may cause ground vibrations.

The legal requirement of obtaining a dilapidation report may or may not affect your construction project. But a report is often issued to prove or limit liability for damages caused to properties. Ideally, the company conducting the work and the property owners should both have an independent dilapidation report completed. These reports will be used as evidence if compensation claims are required.

What is the purpose of a dilapidation report?

A dilapidation report’s primary purpose is to record a property’s condition before a specific event and compare it to the condition after the event has finished. These reports can show that a building is unaffected by the event or demonstrate that damage has occurred. If damages result from a nearby event (e.g., building demolition), the reports can be used to seek suitable compensation.

Dilapidation reports can also be used when leasing a commercial property. The report is completed before a new leaseholder moves into your property and then again when they vacate. While you can expect general wear and tear on your property, if there are significant areas of damage, you can hold your tenants accountable for making the appropriate repairs or financial compensation.

Who does a dilapidation report?

Dilapidation reports are completed through third-party licensed inspectors. Independent inspectors will deliver the best results as there is little room for an argument regarding a conflict of interest.

Independent inspectors have the skills to create reports that will deliver factual information. They will meticulously inspect all areas of your property and create a thorough report to ensure any existing damages are duly noted. After the nearby construction has ceased, another report will be completed and compared to the initial report. Once these two reports are completed, a detailed analysis will occur, and the resulting findings will be made available to interested parties. A dilapidation report is a legal document, and the findings are often undisputed.

Where to get a dilapidation report

When choosing a company for your dilapidation reports, it is best to select a company with many years of experience. At Owner Inspections, we offer dilapidation reports as a part of our suite of services. Our team have been inspecting properties for many years, and in that time, we’ve inspected thousands of properties in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

If you have some constructions occurring near your property, you should book in for a dilapidation report. Also, if your company is preparing for a construction project, you can have a dilapidation report completed on the neighbouring properties to ensure you only pay compensation for damages caused by your activities. You can call our team to discuss any independent building inspection reports.


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