building valuations


What Landlords know but seem to have



Independent Building Surveyors

We are independent building Surveyors that are used to dealing with all types of property related work and are happy to help you with property problems. Some of us are landlords and therefore have direct experience dealing with property issues from a landlord's point of view.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Landlord's seem to forget that things go wrong

We are forever amazed how optimistic landlords are. We believe that as an experienced landlord gets to know and understand property in general and their specific properties that they rent out they start to take it for granted that the tenants coming into their properties also know this information.

Black mould


Where there can be misunderstanding there will be misunderstanding

We have found to our personal cost and in our experience in carrying out surveys that unless things are set down in detail there can be and will be misunderstanding. Between landlords and tenants we would say this is almost the unwritten rule that where there can be misunderstanding there will be misunderstanding.


We believe we can help considerably as building Surveyors by carrying out our tailor made reports to help clarify property issues and also help you communicate these to any tenants that you have in the properties. We have over the years carried reports on almost all property issues everything from dampness, rising damp, lateral damp, penetrating damp, on black mould, condensation, thermal bridging together with all sorts of roof problems from flat to pitched roofs and structural problems amongst many other issues.

If things go really wrong between a landlord and tenant we can also offer independent Expert Witness reports where a situation may become a legal issue and we also help with negotiations between landlords and tenants. Call us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat about your property issues.


Why have a structural survey by an independent building Surveyor?

Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a Schedule of Condition to find out if there are any problems within the property and limit your liabilities; the landlord certainly will not advise you of any.

Remember the building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.


Schedules of Condition are essential when taking on a lease

Let's look at a commercial lease; here is an example of a Schedule of Condition we have carried out on an industrial unit. Whether you have residential properties or commercial properties such as this industrial unit or offices or shops we believe it is very worthwhile have a Schedule of Condition carried out.

Let us talk you through our Schedules of Condition and the reasons why we believe they are so important.

Schedule of Condition example


Why Schedules of Condition are so important

The reason why Schedules of Condition are so important to landlords and tenants is:

Because there is no misunderstanding if everything is clearly set out at the beginning of the lease.

Within our Schedules of Condition we have a description which describes exactly what the element is and where it is located so everyone understands what we are talking about property wise. We then identify the condition and most importantly we identify what we would consider the action required is. We find that having the action required section in our Schedules of Condition does mean a better understanding of how big the property problem is.


What do the circles and ovals mean in our building surveys?

The circles ovals are a system that we used within our structural surveys and building surveys to highlight problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the problem is. In addition to this if the photographs do not we believe explain the problem enough together with our survey report we also add in one of our own sketches such as the example that is shown here.

Roof window


Schedule of Condition on an Industrial unit

We have recently carried out a Schedule of Condition on an Industrial unit which at first sight looked to be in reasonable condition however on closer inspection there were two main problems.


Hidden property


One of the main reasons for commissioning the services of a Building Surveyor who understands and knows about property is that a Building Surveyor can see un-seeable problems or problems that are hidden.

We use the example again of the Industrial unit. The reason that the property problems were not visible immediately were that the interior of the property had been newly painted. This quite often happens with industrial units where at the very end of the lease there is what is known as a Dilapidations Schedule provided by the landlord (usually) to the tenant advising them of things that they do not think are as per the lease requirements.

Newly painted interior to industrial warehouse

In this instance the tenant redecorated the property hiding lots of problems. The main problem that was hidden was that the roof was leaking which from our survey we thought was likely. This roof leak was then confirmed by talking to the owners/occupiers of a neighbouring properties (it is always worth talking to owners/occupiers of neighbouring properties) discovering they had had problems with the roof leaking for many years.


The Surveyor may only be identifying a problem that has been present for years and you may never have known about this if you did not have a survey

We make this comment as one of the adjoining owners advised that they had been complaining about the roof leaking for approximately nine years; we thought it was helpful that they were specific enough to say nine years rather than ten years. Another adjoining owners were aware that the tenant had left the property we were surveying because he had complained about the roof leaks for three years but simply had not got the problem resolved in this time in the end this affected their business.

This information can be of use to you if you are the landlord and if you are a prospective tenant.

We also spoke to owners/occupiers of other industrial units who also advised that they had had roof leaks with one advising that they had given up talking to the landlord getting the roof leak repaired themselves.


Technically correct solutions - Roof leaks

In this section we do get a bit technical just to show you how we can expand upon an issue to explain the problem to all.
The close inspection with regard to the roof leak in this instance showed that the roof leak related to the anchor/fixing bolts which held the profile metal sheeting in which had started to deteriorate. In fact in some cases the profile metal sheeting had deteriorated completely and had been replaced.

Anchor/fixing bolt


In some areas the plastic end caps on the fixing bolts had completely perished coming away which allowed rainwater into the structure through the hole adjacent to the anchor/fixing bolt. In other areas we suspect that the anchor/fixing bolts had corroded over the years and there are now new anchor bolts. In our experience the rain tends to get in via what is known as a wind driven rain which occurs when the rainwater is driven from a particular direction.

New anchor/fixing bolt?


No visible signs of roof leaks

As mentioned in this instance there were no visible signs of roof leaks in the industrial unit that we were surveying as it had been newly painted.

We spoke to the landlord's caretaker and also property manager at the property both interestingly knew nothing about the roof problems! It is important where a Full Repairing and Insuring Lease is about to be taken on that both the landlord and the tenant are aware of any potential problems.


Asbestos cement and Asbestos

Visually it is said to be impossible to establish 100 % when a board is asbestos or not. However Schedules of Condition are very handy in identifying if asbestos may be present. We will always include a clause stating that asbestos reports should be carried out. However a good Dilapidations Surveyor will be able to give you guidance with regard to if a property is likely to have asbestos; remember this is not the same as an Asbestos Survey. This is partly based upon the age the property was originally built as when you have viewed a few hundred warehouses (in fact more than a thousand) an experienced Dilapidations Surveyor will generally be able to establish if asbestos is present.



In this particular case we had a discussion with the landlord's caretaker and also the landlord's Surveyor about the possibility of asbestos being present in the rear of the property. They said that they never used the A word and in their experience it was normally asbestos cement which had a low asbestos content anyway.


Please see our surveying articles on:-

Landlords and Tenants

Why have one of our surveys

Negotiations with your landlord

The lazy solicitor and the lease



Compare our website and compare our surveys

Have a look around our website to check out the quality of our website and Schedules of Condition and Dilapidation reports. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK.


We are happy to act for either the landlord or the tenant and can act for both

Free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424 about Dilapidations and property management issues. We would also be happy to email you some examples of our Schedules of Condition if you are a tenant taking on a Full Repairing and Insuring Lease or a Dilapidations report if you are a landlord taking on a new tenant. We also find that Specific Defect Reports can be use where there is one problem or issue that needs resolving between the landlord and tenant.


Commercial Property Surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The content of the website is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

All rights are reserved the contents of the website is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of



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