Construction work next door is a fact of life when you own a property, especially when it’s right next to a renovator’s delight, a run-down site or a vacant block.
And you and I both know that whenever there’s heavy work next door, and regardless of how many BBQs you’ve had with your neighbour, your property is at risk of being damaged.
If damages happen, then you, your neighbour or their builder would need to cover the damages. Who’s going to cop the costs? I really hope it’s not you!
But let me tell you this: it’s not uncommon that the person whose property was damaged has to cover most or all of the costs. Why? Because they couldn’t show that their property was fine before the construction works next door started.
The builder has their own report, you need yours too!
Smart builders have what we call a dilapidation report. It’s a report they seek from expert building inspectors before they start a project.
This report helps to protect them against your future claims and shows existing defects found on your property BEFORE the work starts.
As you see, this is in their interest, not yours. So you’ll need to do your own property inspections to cover your investment.
Damages could break your bank
In most cases you have no idea what the workers next door are doing and there’s no way to predict what damage will be done to your property.
It could be small – your fence is suddenly leaning a bit – but damage is damage and it could cost you a few hundreds of dollars to straighten that fence.
But how about a cracked sewer or retaining wall that could cost thousands to repair?
I know frustrated people who are facing even greater damages and now don’t know what to do. It’s heartbreaking to know they have to fight for many months with some only recouping a fraction of the expenses – if any at all.
So please, don’t get caught without evidence to support your case!
What to do to protect your property
- Get a pre-construction inspection report – with photos. It’s not as expensive as you think and the tiny investment is peanuts compared to what you’d spend repairing damages if you don’t have evidence to support you.
- Request a post-construction inspection report when you notice any damages. You need a report that can be counted as evidence in court. You’ll have both before (no damage) and after (damage) photos that would clearly show the differences.
- Call your insurance company today. Not all policies cover damages by default. You may be able to purchase additional cover before or even after construction begins. So call and ask your insurance company.
If there’s construction work next door, call me on 0428 465 036 or send me an email to book an inspection right away. I’ll provide a detailed assessment of the property, and when damages have occurred I’ll provide a report plus recommendations and estimated costs to help with your claim.