Firstly it’s worth noting that disputes arising in respect of dilapidations disputes can ultimately end in a court. It is therefore important to understand your responsibilities (as a Tenant) and the liabilities (as a Landlord) arising from such claims. Having a Professional assist could, potentially, reduce time, stress and ultimately result in a negotiated settlement to help avoid the costly and time consuming Court process.
Ensuring that your property is maintained in accordance with the lease obligations can help you protect your future investment. You can do this, during the lease term, by carrying our regular inspections of the property condition and if necessary serve notice on your Tenant of works you believe are required to maintain the property in a standard according with the lease. As Landlord if you have concerns in respect of how your property is being managed, then serving an Interim Schedule of Dilapidations or a Repairs Notice is something which you may wish toserve during the Term to put your Tenant on notice that you intend to ensure your property is maintained in accordance with the lease and so as to prevent serious defects occurring during the term, defects which could potentially affect the ‘long-term’ condition.
We can help you by providing you with a Condition Report which can be used as a tool to notify your Tenant’s of your intentions. GET IN TOUCH FOR AN INFORMAL CHAT
When taking out a new lease, whether transferring the liability under an existing lease to you or by way of a new lease between you and the Landlord, it’s important that you appreciate all potential liabilities and ensure you are protected. You can do this by agreeing that a Photographic Schedule of Condition is produced by your Chartered Building Surveyor which effectively records the condition of the property at the start of the new agreement. This document is then detailed in the lease to limit your liability to the condition found when the Schedule is produced. At the end of the lease, when your Landlord serves you with a Terminal Schedule of Dilapidation, you can use your Schedule to evidence the condition at the outset and effectively reduce your repairing liability at the lease end. This can save you potentially ££££’s.
Furthermore. You may wish to terminate your lease early, for instance using a ‘Break Clause’ which you had included in the lease. In such circumstances your Landlord may have a right to ensure that the property has been maintained in accordance with your lease obligations and failure to do so could result in you being unable to break the lease. There’s been a plethora of legal cases in respect of such matters, suffice to say it’s possible for your Landlord to prevent your terminating the lease via the Break Clause if the property hasn’t been maintained and as such you could find yourself having to continue paying the rent and possibly keeping the business open until the lease end date. This can be very very expensive. As such if it’s your intention to end your lease early, via a break clause say, then you should plan well ahead of the actual break clause date (possibly even as much as a year or more in advance of the break clause date) so you are prepared. We can provide you with a Schedule of Condition to check your lease liabilities and help you ensure you’ve complied with them.
SIMPLY GIVE US A CALL OR SEND AN EMAIL FOR AN INFORMAL CHAT.
Wayne Norcliffe is the Managing Director of Castle Surveyors Limited and has many years experience of helping Landlords and Tenants deal with their dilapidation claims, including large commercial properties or local shops/offices. We’d be happy to discuss your requirements!