Ewan Wyllie: Keep your property in good order or you’ll pay the price

Picture: John Devlin
Picture: John Devlin
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With Imogen, Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude and Henry all having visited our shores over the past three months, and forecasters predicting further storms in coming months, it is important to ensure your properties, whether residential or commercial, are prepared for the weather.

Buildings that are more at risk of storm damage are generally in a condition where backlog maintenance works are required or where areas of disrepair are evident. To ensure that your building is in good condition, there are various surveys that can be undertaken, such as a building condition survey and a planned preventative maintenance survey.

The condition survey appraises the condition of the property and highlights areas where repair works are required, while a planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) schedule allows you to programme repair and maintenance works over a period of years to allow expenditure to be spread evenly over a period of time. These surveys should ideally be undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor.

An important consideration is to determine if you have adequate buildings insurance cover for your property. A Reinstatement Cost Assessment confirms the level of insurance a property should have. The reinstatement value is the figure that allows for reinstating the property if it is significantly damaged. It includes site clearance, demolition, rebuilding of the property to match the existing condition, as well as statutory and professional fees.

It is recommended that a full site inspection is done every five years to allow the reinstatement cost assessment to be prepared. In tenements and residential flatted developments, it will normally be the responsibility of the building’s factor to arrange for this.

Prior to undertaking any of these measures, homeowners would be advised to consult with a building surveyor who would be able to undertake a comprehensive assessment and recommend the most appropriate measures for your property.

l Ewan Wyllie is Associate Partner at Shepherd Building Consultancy