Building Surveys

A building survey is a detailed investigation or inspection of the construction, building fabric and services of a property. It enables the building surveyor to highlight structural defects and other shortcomings of a maintenance or repair nature and to advise what impact its condition will have on the client. A building survey is usually commissioned prior to the purchase or lease agreement of a commercial unit, for example retail, commercial or industrial, etc.

The building surveying team carries out a thorough inspection of the building and its fixtures and fittings, plus services installations.  This is to ensure the client receives a comprehensive report on the condition of the entire building. The final report follows a detailed examination of the fabric of the building by a professionally qualified Building Surveyor. We provide a budget estimate on the cost of significant repairs and identify less significant defects, general disrepair and issues with the physical condition, maintenance and building design.


Schedules of Dilapidation

ORS provides expert advice on all aspects of repair and maintenance obligations for both landlords and tenants. The preparation of a Schedule of Dilapidations is necessary under many landlord and tenant relationships. The Lease, which is the formal contract between both parties, would normally include a Repairing Covenant or clause, which would oblige the tenant to maintain the building or part of the building to a certain standard. This repairing obligation may extend to both the interior and exterior or be limited to internal repair only.


In order to prepare a Schedule of Dilapidations for a landlord,  an inspection is necessary to ensure that the tenant is properly maintaining the building. The inspection will highlight any deterioration in the building and the repairing obligations of the tenant. Our services on behalf of a landlord can extend to ensuring that all repair works are carried out to satisfactory standard.  Alternatively we cost the repair items identified in the schedule and negotiate a financial settlement in the event that the landlord undertakes to carry out repairs for themselves.


Schedules of Condition/Dilapidation Report 

Acting as a reference point, the condition of a building often requires recording.  This reasons for the record include in relation to a new lease, prior to refurbishment or because of alteration works being undertaken on adjacent buildings.

A Schedule of Condition can also be commissioned by a tenant entering into a Lease arrangement whereby they are to be responsible for maintaining a building in the same condition as at commencement of the Lease. This type of condition survey will again record with text and photographs all relevant defects etc.  This is to protect the tenant in the event that a landlord serves a Schedule of Dilapidations on termination of the Lease.

A Condition Survey (also called a Dilapidation Report) is a report prepared on an existing building prior to any development works been carried out adjacent or nearby. The preparation of such a report protects both the adjacent property owner and the developer as it records the current condition in both report format with a back-up photographic schedule. The report will identify the location, type and extent of any current defects in a building.


Insurance Reinstatement Cost Assessment Valuations

A Reinstatement Cost Assessment for insurance purposes will advise on the anticipated cost of reinstating a building in the event of damage covered by an insured risk. It is critical to ensure that your principle assets i.e. your building stock, are adequately insured against loss. We provide expert advice across a broad range of building types and provide a current and up to date insurance valuation. Please note that reinstatement costs have no direct relationship to the market value of the property.

At ORS, we utilise the figures and information provided by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland/Building Cost Information Service (RICS/BCIS) along with industry knowledge to calculate the Reinstatement Cost Assessment.  This information is recognised by the insurance industry.


Pre-purchase surveys

A professional pre-purchase property survey allows a potential purchaser or investor to get to know a building.  It identifies whether there are any defects in a property that could affect its performance and generate substantial costs to repair.

A pre-purchase survey is a detailed internal and external inspection of a property – commercial or residential.  It is often referred to as a ‘structural survey’ or ‘building inspection’ and is normally carried out on behalf of the potential purchaser of a property.  A ‘structural survey’ tends to look at the main structural elements of a building only.

An ORS pre-purchase property survey goes further.  It provides a greater understanding of the requirements and capabilities of a property.  It spans across a range of elements including building structure and fabric, energy conservation, fire safety, ventilation and access.  All these factors affect the overall performance of a building.  If required, we also review planning compliance and land registry boundaries as part of a pre-purchase survey.

Pre-purchase surveys are usually carried out prior to the signing of a final contract of sale.  They are very frequently required by solicitors and lending institutions as they will highlight any planning or building regulation compliance issues.

Keeping in mind stringent building compliance regulations, a pre-purchase survey is a wise first step in your project planning process.  Whatever the scale of your project, a survey will help you to avoid surprise costs and delays.

ORS provides pre-purchase surveys to both commercial and residential clients.