The importance of property inspection

Any property inspection company can help in the negotiation with the developer as an additional service, and can oversee the modification work to be doneDouglas Ralph, CPI CEO, Snag & Inspect

The proper inspection of buildings or structures, whether residential or commercial, is a vital process that needs to be undertaken before their handover to owners. Douglas Ralph of Snag & Inspect explains the need for inspection and the processes that it entails.

Services offered to prospective buyers and tenants

The most basic service is the handover inspection of a building, a tower or a single unit, mainly for new properties ready to be transferred in ownership to the buyer.

The handover inspection report will help establish whether the villa or apartment or office is in good condition as promised to the buyer, community association or tenant. This guarantees that they get value for their money - that the property is defect-free. After receiving the inspection report, they can ask for rectifications if any.

Any property inspection company can help in the negotiation with the developer as an additional service, and can oversee the modification work to be done.

They can also reinspect the property to check that the rectification work follows best practices according to the UAE codes and standards.

Tenants can avail themselves of the move-in inspection prior to settling in. The move-in inspection report helps the tenant assess the property he is looking to get and the report serves as documentation of the condition of the property so that liabilities for either side are clear.

A tailored inspection service may focus on the MEP on certain parts of the property or on the finishing.

On building owners putting regular inspection on their agenda

Assessment of the condition of the property and the quality of work during the different stages of construction is ideal.

Prevention is always better than taking corrective action – this saves time and money. Nevertheless, building construction is a complex process and there was never a building that was perfectly completed.

For building owners, it is advised that they regularly get the building condition audited by inspection professionals.

Building owners or association managers should likewise put regular inspection and maintenance on their agenda.

RERA is also in the process of implementing guidelines for building condition audits and having reserve fund studies carried out. Both of these will help the owners take corrective action for immediate needs and for the maintenance of the building in the long run.

Early adoption of these will put the building management at the forefront – protecting the quality of life and investments by being able to address issues as they arise and having the financial capability for long-term maintenance needs.

Issues encountered in residential and commercial properties through the life of a property

Owners, management companies, tenants and landlords seek the help of property inspectors for a wide range of concerns.

Recently, for example, we have helped a number of homeowners with plumbing issues. In the next months, we are expecting to get calls regarding mould and humidity issues as we have had in the past years.

There are many households and big institutions asking for expert recommendations regarding their electrical systems.

Some consult inspection companies for issues regarding structural integrity, early failure of building components and solutions, system malfunctions, among others.

We started offering inspection services in the UAE about seven years ago and we have seen the improvement in construction standards and practices since then.

Unfortunately, some of the defects that we have seen years ago are showing their effects now. As with any inspection company, we help individuals solve these kinds of problems.

We believe that professional inspection companies are crucial in the continuing effort to raise the standards that help shape the real estate industry.

Main violations encountered:

* Poor waterproofing practices that could result in mould and moisture problems

* Electrical systems wired in a way that is not compliant with UAE codes, and fire systems not fully operational

* Swimming pools having a single suction water return line instead of two return drain points

* Improper airconditioning system that could lead to moisture damage

* Poor installation of thermal insulation and chilled water lines that could lead to degradation due to corrosion of pipes

Source: Zenifer Khaleel, Special to Freehold


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