Dilapidations FAQ

Dilapidations can be a source of confusion and potential conflict in commercial property leases. But at MacConvilles, we’re here to help! This FAQ guide cuts through the complexity, providing clear explanations and practical advice for both tenants and landlords.

Understanding your rights and responsibilities is critical, whether you’re a tenant facing the end of your lease or a landlord preparing a dilapidations claim.

What are dilapidations?

Dilapidations refer to the condition of a leased property and the tenant’s responsibility to maintain it. This includes repairs to the building structure, exterior, fixtures, and services provided by the landlord, according to the terms of the lease agreement.

What is a Schedule of Dilapidations?

A Schedule of Dilapidations outlines repairs, maintenance, and other works required to bring a property up to a specified standard. It is used to identify defects or issues that need to be addressed.

When can a landlord make a dilapidations claim?

A landlord can initiate a dilapidations claim against a tenant during the lease, towards the end, or even after the lease has ended. The claim will typically be outlined in a document called a “Schedule of Dilapidations” and may include costs for repairs, redecoration, and reinstatement of alterations made by the tenant. The amount claimed can sometimes be significant, exceeding 12 months’ rent.

What are my responsibilities as a tenant regarding dilapidations?

  • Understanding your lease: Understanding the obligations outlined in the lease agreement is crucial. Subtle differences in wording can significantly impact your liabilities.
  • Schedule of Condition: Requesting a Schedule of Condition at the start of your lease can limit your liability by documenting the property’s condition.
  • Maintenance: Proper maintenance throughout your tenancy helps minimise potential repair costs at the lease end.
  • Alterations: Always follow lease procedures and obtain written permission from the landlord before making any alterations to the property.
  • Responding to a Schedule of Dilapidations: If you receive a Schedule of Dilapidations, seek prompt advice from a surveyor experienced in dilapidations.
  • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution: A surveyor can assess the property, prepare a response to the claim, and potentially negotiate a lower cost based on technical arguments. If an agreement cannot be reached, dispute resolution options are available.

How can I effectively manage dilapidations?

Understanding your lease terms and seeking professional advice from a surveyor early in the process is crucial for managing dilapidations effectively. A surveyor can help you interpret your lease obligations, assess the property’s condition, and negotiate a fair outcome in case of a claim.

How long does a landlord have to make a dilapidations claim?

Landlords should typically serve a schedule of dilapidations within a reasonable time on the tenant, generally not more than 56 days after the end of the tenancy.

How long does a tenant have to respond to a schedule of dilapidations?

The landlord and tenant (or their surveyors) typically have 56 days to serve and respond to a Schedule of Dilapidations, respectively.

What are the “First Limb” and “Second Limb” of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (UK) concerning dilapidations?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 outlines two key aspects regarding dilapidation claims:

First Limb: Limits the damages a landlord can claim for breaches of repair covenants to the reduction in the property’s value due to the disrepair.

Second Limb: This clause prevents the landlord from claiming damages for repairs if they intend to demolish the property or make structural alterations after the tenancy, rendering the repairs unnecessary.

Who pays for dilapidations?

Tenants are generally liable for the costs associated with dilapidations, including the surveyor’s fees for the Schedule of Dilapidations and the repairs themselves.

What is a dilapidation cost?

Dilapidation costs are essentially exit costs for a tenant at the lease end. These costs cover restoring the property to its original, pre-let state, including repairs or reinstating any cosmetic alterations, (as the lease requires).

Who prepares a Schedule of Dilapidations?

A surveyor or professional with building maintenance and repair expertise typically prepares it. They will inspect the property, identify issues, and outline the required works and associated costs.

Read More about Dilapidations Here

 

 

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?

Schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific dilapidations concerns.

Contact Us