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Property Surveying Blog
Written by Bradley Mackenzie

In these tough times, we thought it would be helpful to keep our clients well informed on how Berry Lodge are handling the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Office Closure

To start with, we have closed our office with all staff working remotely where possible.

The office is due to be closed for 3 weeks (23/03/20 – 13/04/20).

Moving on from that and onto the day to day management of inspections.  

General Surveying Inspections

When Berry Lodge’s Surveyors are undertaking inspections, the Surveyor visiting will be (to the best of ours and his knowledge) fit and healthy, he will not travel to the property on public transport and when he arrives at the property, he will have a mask on, gloves on and shoe covers on. None of these will be removed until the Surveyor has exited the property.

During the inspection itself, the Surveyor will not touch anything in the property. This will mean that doors need to be left open and items moved to accommodate full inspection.

Where possible, he will keep the time inspecting to a minimum without compromising his instruction.

We would also advise that the occupants are in a different room or floor during the inspection and all windows are left open to allow for sufficient air circulation.

It is also worth noting that the Surveyor will operate a no-contact policy, this means conventional greetings and handshakes will not take place.

Finally, we have given all of our Surveyors the option to decline inspections where they want to or do not feel safe or comfortable undertaking them.

 

Party Wall Surveying Inspections

Where possible we are producing Party Wall Awards and are dealing with Schedule of Conditions as follows:

 

Reserving the Schedule of Condition Report:

If the Party Wall construction works are not due to commence imminently, however, the building owner would like to have the Party Wall Award agreed, served and in place. We are reserving the Schedule of Condition inspection with the following clause inserted into the Party Wall Award:

That as soon as it is permissible to do, given the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) pandemic, the Party Wall Surveyor will be undertaking a Schedule of Condition Report of the adjoining owner’s property. 

 

Adjoining Owner Photographic Schedule of Condition Report:

If the Party Wall construction works are due to commence imminently, with the building owner unable to wait for a Schedule of Condition Report. We are asking the adjoining owner to undertake a photographic record of their property and giving them a thorough guide on how to do this.

We will then add this record to the Party Wall Award ensuring it forms part of the Award’s appendix or record of documents.

 

Building Owner Photographic External Schedule of Condition Report:

If the Party Wall construction works are due to commence imminently, with the building owner unable to wait for a Schedule of Condition Report.

In situations where the building owner or the Party Wall Surveyor has been unable to contact the adjoining owner, we are asking the building owner to undertake an external photographic record of the adjoining owner’s property.

We will also be giving the building owner a thorough guide on how to do this.

We will then add this record to the Party Wall Award ensuring it forms part of the Award’s appendix or record of documents.

 

It is worth noting that in these tough times there has to be compromise and flexibility, we believe our protocol to be the most reasonable for our clients and staff.

If you would like to discuss how these procedures can assist for your job or file, please get in touch and we will be more than happy to advise.

Update *17/04/20

The Office is to remain closed until further notice. As soon as it is safe for the team to travel to and from, it will re-open.

There are also a number of staff on furlough status. Any ongoing jobs that cannot be dealt with by the team that remain working, will need to be dealt with upon their return. We apologise for this.