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High Value Dilapidation Claims

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant of Commercial or Residential property, you will need to consider the repairing obligations in the lease. At the end of the lease the landlord will want the property returned in a good state of repair. Generally, most tenants will return the property in reasonable condition.

Unfortunately, some tenants may return the property with damage which they may not consider serious but which may cost the landlord a substantial amount to repair. In the worst cases tenants may return the property with serious damage and attempt to avoid their obligations in making good.

Conversely, landlords may make claims which are inflated or in which they expect tenants to repair minor damage which is caused by the normal use of the property or the passage of time. In the worst cases the landlord may seek to make tenants pay for damage which has been caused by the landlord’s breach of his own obligations to keep the property in repair.

Our team can offer specialist advice to landlords and tenants to avoid court proceedings and on how to proceed if litigation is the only option.

Services

Our services include:

– Advice in respect of the Dilapidation Protocols;

– Instructing surveyors and/or valuers;

– Arranging and serving the Schedule of Dilapidations;

– Defending the Schedule of Dilapidations;

– Negotiating settlement; and

– Court claims.

This is not an exhaustive list so if you need to talk to a lawyer, our team is on hand to give clear advice.

Pitfalls

With a view to limiting such claims, we hope the following list of common pitfalls will be of some use:

Lease obligations

Landlords and tenants should always think about the repairing obligations in a lease. More often than not, we come across standard clauses which neither party is happy with in the event of a dispute. Consider tailoring the clauses to the specific property and use so that both parties understand the extent of the obligation.

Inventory

Many inventories seen in these types of disputes are poor. Consider taking pictures of the property and taking the time to detail the condition at the commencement of the lease.

Engage a building surveyor

This may seem like an extreme option but parties could consider hiring a surveyor to carry out a condition report at the commencement of the lease. In the event of a dispute it will then be the same surveyor who decides what if any dilapidations exist and the associated repair costs.

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