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Dilapidation Reports - What are they and why do I need one?

Posted By Roger Dohnt  
20:50 PM

What is a Dilapidation Survey Report?

A Dilapidation Report is a detailed photographic and documented record of the current condition of a building or structure that is located within the zone of influence of proposed building or construction works. Items included that could be within the zone of influence includes neighbouring buildings and dwellings, fences, retaining walls, landscaping structures, footpaths, kerbs, road pavement and underground services etc. The report is intended to present a true and accurate condition of the building or structural element prior to the commencement of any building works. With this report, the builder and / or developer can defend themselves against potential claims for damages to adjoining properties by referring to the photographic record contained in the dilapidation survey that shows it to be pre-existing damage.


Inhouse Consulting Engineers have carried out hundreds of dilapidation surveys which include surveying the condition of many kilometres of road pavements and footpaths that will be carrying heavy vehicles during the construction of the project including all the adjoining buildings and improvements to a new urban land development and smaller building projects including fences, kerbs and the survey of existing footpaths where transportable elevating work platforms or scaffolding will be used for facade maintenance.


Why do I need to get a Dilapidation Report?

Typically, Council requires the provision of a dilapidation survey report as a condition of consent to a Development Approval (DA). It will usually note those items that need to be surveyed as part of Dilapidation Report such as those listed above. Council requests these reports in circumstances where building works are proposed within the zone of influence of adjoining properties and structures where there is some risk that those works may cause structural issues for those properties due to vibration and earthworks. Likewise, where larger developments such as townhouses, flat buildings, childcare centres, commercial and industrial developments or land subdivisions are proposed, dilapidation survey reports are typically required due to the expected additional movements of heavy vehicles during construction which may cause damage to road pavements or public infrastructure.


When should I order the Dilapidation Report?

The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) will need to receive the Dilapidation Report prior to the issuing a Construction Certificate (CC) so that they carried out before any construction work commences. So there is no need to delay - order the dilapidation survey well ahead of time to avoid any delays in obtaining your CC.


Who can prepare a Dilapidation Report?

The dilapidation report should be carried out by qualified structural engineers experienced in preparing dilapidation survey reports. Indeed, most conditions of consent specify that the dilapidation report is to be prepared by a structural engineer, and often a Chartered Engineer, such as those employed by Inhouse Consulting Engineers. Take care to read the conditions of consent carefully to avoid wasting money on a report that may be rejected by the PCA. Otherwise, to avoid all doubt - get in contact with us first!


What happens after the building works are completed?

Ideally, at the conclusion of the project, Inhouse Consulting Engineers should be engaged re-inspect all the same items that were surveyed in the initial dilapidation report. We will then complete a post development report that will observe any changes to the condition of the building or structural elements documented in the original report. This report will provide an opinion as to whether the changes are likely to have been caused by the building project and include a scope of works for any repairs that the builder/developer may need to carry out. Likewise, the provision of a post development dilapidation report is often a condition of the DA and CC prior to the PCA issuing an Occupancy Certificate (OC).


How can I find out more or engage Inhouse Consulting Engineers to prepare a Dilapidation Survey Report?

To learn more about our services, please contact us via phone or e-mail us to speak with a senior structural engineer today! We are very much looking forward to assisting you with your next project.