From checking the foundation to ensuring the roof is in tip-top shape, an extensive property condition report is key to making sure a residential home or commercial building is safe to live or work in.
We’ll share what a building inspector or engineer’s property condition report should include, cover key benefits of this type of report and provide a free template you can download and fill out.
Plus, we’ll explain how to streamline your reports by utilizing digital forms, so you can create, edit, save and send documents whether on-site or on the go.
Table of Contents
What Is A Property Condition Report?
A property condition report or a property condition assessment is a document that provides details about a property’s physical condition, including the exterior and interior, HVAC and electrical systems, among other areas.
This report allows inspectors to identify any issues within the property (such as electrical issues or water damage) that need to be addressed before ownership of the property is transferred from one person to another.
The standard approach for this report is defined by ASTM International — a developer of international voluntary consensus standards — in the ASTM E2018 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments.
Residential Property Condition Report vs. Commercial Property Condition Report
A residential property condition report is a document that provides a detailed assessment of the physical condition of a residential property, such as single-family homes, high-rise condominiums and townhouses.
A commercial property condition report is a document that provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical condition of a commercial property, such as office buildings, malls and hotels.
While the reports are similar, the exact items on each report can vary, based on the guidelines within a commercial building versus a home.
When Do You Conduct A Property Condition Report?
A property condition report is conducted as part of the due diligence process when a property changes ownership. For example, this type of report might be conducted before a buyer purchases a home or before an investor purchases a commercial property.
Who Conducts A Property Condition Report?
Property condition reports can be conducted by a building inspector or engineer, either from a private company or government-employed. Typically, conducting this type of report takes about an hour, but it could take longer depending on the size of the property.
What Does A Property Condition Assessment Evaluate?
A property condition assessment typically evaluates:
- Accessibility, in accordance with the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Structural frame and foundation, including beams, floor slabs and columns
- The roof, including the underlay and eaves membrane, roof vents, drainage and joint covers
- Exterior walls, including the windows, doors and facade
- Interior finishes, including the walls, ceilings and floors
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
- Electrical systems and components, including wiring, electrical boxes, outlets and subpanels
- Plumbing systems and fixtures, including hot and cold-water supply, valves, water storage tanks and drain-pipes
- Fire protection systems, including fire sprinklers
- Elevator, if applicable
- Landscape components, including retaining walls, paving, parking and irrigation
What Does A Property Condition Assessment Identify?
By evaluating the above areas of a home or commercial property, a property condition assessment is able to identify things like:
- Routine and/or delayed maintenance
- System defects
- Prioritized list of repairs — for example, HVAC repairs or CCTV replacements should be prioritized over repainting a room
- Remaining useful life (RUL) — a rough estimate of an equipment or system’s remaining years of optimal performance — of all major building systems
- Capital replacement needs
- Overall compliance with the property’s original design or engineering
- Total building replacement cost
Property Condition Report Template
While some items may vary based on whether the report is for a commercial or residential property, here’s what a property condition report should typically include:
- Excellent – In “mint” condition
- Good – No remedial work is needed
- Fair – Minor remedial work is recommended
- Poor – Major remedial work is needed
- N/A – Not applicable
- Storm drainage system
- Site lighting
- Upper floor walkways
- Roof coverings
- Roof drainage
- Garden irrigation system
- Swimming pool
- Oil or gas storage tanks
Mechanical, Electrical And Plumbing Systems
- Electrical systems
- Emergency generator
- Cold water supply
- Water heater
- Gas distribution system
Vertical Transportation Systems
- Fire suppression systems, such as smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire sprinklers
- Security alarm systems, such as interior and exterior motion sensors and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras
- Light Fittings
- Floor Coverings
- Built-in Fixtures
- Light Fittings
- Floor Coverings
- Cistern/Seat cover
- Towel Rails
Key Benefits Of A Property Condition Report
Whether you’re looking to sell a property or purchase one, a property condition report offers benefits on both sides of the aisle.
A comprehensive report allows you to:
1. Identify Property Damages
If you’re selling or leasing a property, a property condition report helps you identify issues that need to be addressed, such as structural problems, plumbing or electrical issues, to help you get the property in shape for the sale or lease.
If you’re purchasing a property, this report offers you a comprehensive overview so you can assess the shape that your property is in and determine whether or not to follow through with the purchase.
2. Negotiate Property Value
A property condition report can help both sellers and buyers when it comes to negotiations.
If your property is in great condition, the report gives you the evidence you need to drive a hard bargain. Conversely, if a property that you have your eye on needs a bit of work but you’re ready for the investment, you can negotiate down a bit and get a deal that works for both you and the seller.
3. Plan For Property Repairs
As a landlord or property owner, a property condition report can help you plan for upgrades or repairs. This allows you to budget costs ahead of time and avoid surprise expenses later on when small issues snowball into larger problems.
4. Demonstrate Due Diligence
If you’re a residential property owner, black mold could open you up to a $10,000 lawsuit if it’s found by a tenant.
A property condition report allows you to show that you have taken the required steps to ensure that your residential or commercial property is safe for tenants to live or work in.
Simplify Your Property Condition Reports With doForms
When it comes to creating a report, you can either take the paper route or the paperless route. While paper-based reports may be traditional, there’s a much more efficient, practical and cost-friendly choice.
doForms is a mobile forms solution that allows you to transform paper-based reports into a digital document, saving you money on paper and helping you get organized in the process.
doForms allows you to:
- Create and edit digital reports
- Save reports in a secure, centralized location
- Access reports from anywhere, using any device, with or without a stable WiFi connection
With an easy-to-use dashboard and more than 30 drag-and-drop features, our mobile forms solution is a secure and efficient method for building, editing, storing and submitting reports for your property inspections.
Don’t have time to create a report from scratch? With doForms’ user-friendly mobile app, you can select a template from our comprehensive library of forms.
You can access your mobile forms from anywhere — whether you’re out on the open road or conducting a property inspection on-site.
In addition to simplifying reports, going the digital route allows you to:
- Create a wide range of checklists and reports, including HVAC maintenance inspection checklists, elevator maintenance checklists, plumbing inspection checklists, roofing inspection reports and electrical inspection checklists
- Report near misses and incident reports when evaluating a property’s condition
- Take images or videos of potential property hazards on-site, thanks to the automatic capture feature, then attach them to preventive maintenance checklists
- Track locations of upcoming property condition assessments
- Run and schedule automated reports
- Minimize the risk of sharing sensitive details, such as client names, addresses, credit card numbers and repair costs, through HIPAA compliancy and multi-factor authentication
Wrapping Up On Property Condition Reports
A property condition report provides a detailed evaluation of a property’s condition, identifying any problems that may need to be addressed regarding plumbing, electrical work and other important areas of the property.
From identifying potential issues before they become expensive repairs to negotiating property value, a property condition report has a wide range of benefits.
doForms is an innovative mobile forms solution that can be used by businesses of all sizes to create, send and store digital reports.
Ditch the paperwork and switch to doForms so you can get organized, save money and increase productivity, from inspections to scheduling, record keeping and beyond.