Property is frequently a homeowners’ biggest financial asset, and ensuring it is adequately maintained or refitted will ensure its ongoing life and value is retained.
Specialist reporting, available from Registered members of New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors (NIZBS), makes property owners more knowledgeable about the condition of their building.
That’s why building condition reports from NZIBS members are an astute investment, Institute past-president Trevor Jones says.
While building designs have changed in New Zealand since the first structures were built, the relevance in commissioning condition reports and the skills required to undertake them have remained relatively unchanged.
“Essentially, you start by looking at the building’s construction type and age, get a clear understanding of materials used and assess their likely limitations of in-service performance, plus look at what kind of repair and maintenance might have been carried out.
“A Registered building surveyor understands construction technology and has a forensic understanding of building materials and how they perform. The application of this skill is important when inspecting property, to report on its condition.
“They also understand that each client’s needs are different, and that clarifying a client’s needs is crucial, together with understanding their budgetary constraints.”
Whether working on residential buildings or a large commercial portfolio of property, a Registered building surveyor’s process is much the same.
“In its simplest form, a property condition report will advise an owner of what they have and what condition it is in.
“And reports can address a short-, medium-, and or longer-term condition assessment need. If the report is to address any maintenance or replacement programme, it’s useful to provide some idea of costs around that.”
Another reason for assessing the condition of a building, is when taking on a commercial lease, or rental property.
Knowing a building’s condition and recording it in a report is information a tenant should get, before taking on a lease.
Doing that at commencement is good for insurance purposes because it is advantageous when handling a lease’s end.
For a renter, knowing whether your rental will meet your expectations, is better at the outset.
With changes to the health and safety legislation placing greater focus on business owners’ responsibilities, Mr Jones says it is part of an owner’s due diligence to have as much information as possible about their assets.
“It’s not rocket science, but there is building science behind it. All property assets do need to be assessed and maintained during their life. A condition report will help with managing and retention of an asset’s value.”