Dilapidations are breaches of the covenant contained in a lease to repair a building. Such breaches can take many forms, but a leaking roof or a broken window are two obvious examples. Dilapidations are often wrongly considered by tenants as insignificant in comparison with rent, rates, and service charges when they are seeking new premises.
However, the liability to repair can have serious financial implications and therefore the tenant must seek the advice of a Chartered Surveyor on opportunities to avoid, limit or mitigate dilapidations before entering into a lease, or when a schedule of dilapidations has been served upon him. Dilapidations claims can run into tens of thousands of pounds and therefore require serious consideration.
Dilapidations are a complex and contentious aspect of the landlord and tenant relationship. No two dilapidations claims can be identical because no two buildings are exactly the same, nor will the lease covenants or other circumstances necessarily be similar either. It, therefore, follows that as a tenant, it is always prudent to seek the advice of a Chartered Surveyor before contracting a new lease, or when served with a schedule of dilapidations in respect of an existing or historic lease.
KHA Chartered Surveyors are able to undertake inspections of commercial premises on behalf of either party and to either prepare a schedule of Breaches of Covenant on behalf of the Landlord or a schedule of conditions for an incoming tenant. KHA can act also on behalf of the Tenant in scrutinizing and negotiating a Schedule prepared by the Landlord's Surveyor to potentially negotiate a reduction in the claim.
If you are taking out a new lease or renewing a lease contact Kevin Hurley BSc MRICS to discuss your options and how we may be of assistance in minimizing any future claim.
If you are a Landlord and have a property where the lease has only a year or so to go, contact us to discuss the preparation of a Schedule of Dilapidations.