The main types of instructions with regard to dilapidations are:
Interim schedules of dilapidations
Served during a lease to ensure tenants are complying with their ongoing duty to keep the property in good repair and decoration.
Acting for landlords or tenants we have the experience and legal knowledge to ensure that claims prepared or negotiated are accurate and reasonable.
Landlords and tenants will in most cases have a duty under lease agreements to ensure properties are keep in good condition during the term of a lease, not just at expiry. A property kept in repair will ensure your investment is protected.
Acting for landlords we inspect their properties, and after careful consideration of the lease covenants and condition of the property we prepare detailed schedules identifying the works tenants need to carry out to meet their obligations. We then monitor tenant’s works to ensure they are carried out to the required standard, or if necessary in extreme circumstances work with your legal advisors to obtain entry to carry out the works and recover the costs as a debt from them.
Tenant served with an interim schedule? We will review the landlords claim on your behalf, negotiate the schedule and timescales for completion of works to ensure your interests are protected. We can also manage the required works on your behalf if required. Defences to such claims are numerous, and the legal issues complex, as such if you are served with an interim schedule of dilapidations, do not hesitate to contact us for advice.
Terminal / final schedules of dilapidations
Prepared near at or after expiry of a lease. Similar to an interim schedule, a terminal or final schedule will detail the tenants breaches of covenant and repairs required, but as the lease is about too, or has ended the claim will need to be quantified, including costs of each item of repair, reinstatement and decoration, potential loss of rent, service charge, professional fees and VAT.
Landlords – Preparation of detailed schedules of dilapidations to reflect your loss as a result the tenants non compliance with the terms of the lease. In doing this we always work closely with you and your property advisors to ensure realistic and accurate claims are prepared.
Early consideration needs to be given to your intentions for the property; whether any tenants alterations need to be removed?; is there a new tenants in waiting? Would you prefer the property left in repair or a financial settlement? And current commercial market conditions; as such if possible we recommend that Building Surveyors are appointed at least 2-3 months in advance of expiry to enable all issues to be considered.
Tenants – Is the scope of the landlords schedule and costs identified accurate? Is the standard of repair justified or could it be achieved by other methods? Can the claim be limited by statutory relief? Have the current commercial markets conditions and landlords intentions for the property been taken into consideration? We will consider all of these issues and many more when reviewing and negotiating landlords claims on your behalf, to ensure a fair and reasonable financial settlement is agreed.
Dilapidation liability assessments
Plan ahead! In our experience it is generally always more cost effective for tenants to pre-empt a landlords claim for dilapidations to enable a planned approach to repairs required or enter into informed early negotiations with your landlord.
If your lease has only a few months or several years left to run we recommend that future dilapidations claims be considered, an unexpected claim can be quite a shock to many tenants and the financial implications can be serious.
We carry out a thorough assessment of your leases / licences and survey the premises prior to preparing a detailed report identifying potential dilapidations issues. We will also provide estimates of costs for the works and strategic advice with regard to complying or defending this future claim. With this information you can programme in phased repairs to suit your operation so the property is left in repair at expiry or if operations do not allow this appropriate funds can set aside to cover these potential futures costs.