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When a commercial lease ends, both landlords and tenants often face the issue of dilapidation claims.

Dilapidation claims refer to the demand by a landlord for the tenant to repair any damage or wear and tear during the lease term.

At Moeen & Co. Solicitors, we focus on helping both landlords and tenants address dilapidation claims in the UK. If you're a landlord looking to recover repair costs or a tenant facing hefty claims, our dilapidation solicitors are here to help.

If you need help with your dilapidations claim, get in touch with Moeen & Co. Solicitors at 0203 959 7755. Our dilapidation claim solicitors are ready to help.

Table of Contents

What are dilapidation claims?

Dilapidation claims are the legal pursuit of repairs or maintenance that tenants neglect. Landlords often make these claims after a commercial lease ends. They involve seeking compensation for issues like alterations not being completed.

What do dilapidations cover?

For landlords and tenants alike, knowing what dilapidation claims cover is essential. It means understanding the potential financial implications linked to property maintenance. These costs often involve repairs, renewals, and replacements due to damages or wear and tear during the lease.

Dilapidations in a commercial lease typically cover the following areas:

  • Repair Obligations
  • Alterations and Improvements
  • Maintenance Responsibilities
  • Decoration
  • Statutory Compliance

Repair Obligations

Tenants are tasked with fixing structural and item damages and keeping the property generally well-maintained.

Alterations and Improvements

Any changes made by the tenant must be considered, with the claim potentially covering the restoration of the property.

Maintenance Responsibilities

Tenants must maintain the property, and failing to keep up can lead to dilapidation claims.

Decoration

This includes the state of any painting, wallpaper, or flooring, making sure they're not damaged during the tenancy.

Statutory Compliance

Claims can involve meeting legal obligations with building regulations and safety standards.

The extent of a dilapidation claim is determined by the lease agreement. Both landlords and tenants need to be fully aware of these terms. This knowledge helps in understanding their obligations and rights clearly.

Moeen & Co. Solicitors specialise in this area and offer detailed, tailored advice. Call us at 0203 959 7755 for a consultation.

What is a schedule of dilapidations?

A schedule of dilapidations is a document prepared by a surveyor detailing the items that need repair, reinstatement, or redecoration according to the lease terms.

Schedule of dilapidations includes the associated costs and is served to the tenant as part of the claim process.

What is the process for making a dilapidation claim?

This process is multifaceted, with distinct stages and timings. Both landlord and tenant need to grasp its ins and outs for their protection.

To make a dilapidation claim at the end of a commercial lease, follow these steps:

  1. Property Inspection and Schedule Preparation
  2. Service of Schedule & Tenant Response
  3. Negotiation and Settlement
  4. Formal Dilapidations Claim
  5. Expert Reports and Mediation
  6. Resolution

1. Property Inspection and Schedule Preparation

First, a surveyor the landlord picks inspects the property. They produce a ‘schedule of dilapidations’, listing needed repairs and maintenance.

2. Service of Schedule & Tenant Response

The schedule is served to the tenant, outlining the necessary repairs and associated costs. The tenant may accept the claim, negotiate, or dispute the items listed.

3. Negotiation and Settlement

After sending the schedule, parties negotiate costs and repair extent. These talks, often involving legal guidance, aim for an understanding.

Both parties negotiate to reach a settlement, which may involve the tenant carrying out repairs or paying compensation.

4. Formal Dilapidations Claim

Failing an agreement, the landlord can legally claim dilapidations. This involves a court claim, addressing lease breaches and compensating for repairs.

5. Expert Reports and Mediation

During any legal process, experts present reports. Court-appointed mediation may also attempt to agree on a resolution.

6. Resolution

The process concludes with an agreement, whether through settlement or court decision. It could mean paying the landlord or direct repairs by the tenant.

Every case’s circumstances influence the process. Seeking expert legal advice is highly recommended. It helps to understand and protect against the complicated aspects of dilapidated claims.

Cost considerations in dilapidation claims

Cost is a central issue for landlords and tenants in dilapidation claims.

The cost of dilapidations can vary significantly depending on several factors, including:

  • The cost of bringing the property back to its original condition.
  • The fees are paid to surveyors, solicitors, and other experts.
  • Financial penalties imposed by the court for breach of lease obligations.
  • The cost of taking reasonable steps to minimize the loss.
  • Additional costs are involved in the negotiation and settlement process.

Typically, dilapidation costs can range from a few thousand pounds for minor repairs to tens of thousands of pounds for more significant damage or extensive reinstatement work.

Both landlords and tenants should budget for these potential expenses and seek professional advice to get a more accurate estimate based on their specific circumstances.

Responsibility for dilapidation claims

Dilapidations claims pinpoint the party responsible for covering the costs linked to repairs and maintenance at the end of a commercial lease. It's key for landlords and tenants alike to know who is on the hook for such expenses.

Landlord responsibilities for dilapidation claims

The ball is in the landlord's court when it comes to the terms of repair and upkeep in the lease. They lay down the criteria of the property's acceptable state at the lease's close. To substantiate their dilapidation claim, landlords must present a roadmap of repairs showing what's needed and how much it will cost.

Tenant responsibilities for dilapidation claims

It's part of the tenant's job to keep the property up to snuff as per the lease. This means they should do regular checks to catch and fix problems early. Record-keeping on repairs done during the rent period can help prove they’ve met their lease duty.

For the best shot at handling dilapidation claims right, seeking advice from specialists is wise for both parties. Moeen & Co. Solicitors offers the guidance needed for a just outcome to your claim.

Commercial property dilapidation advice for tenants

  • Be aware of your responsibilities regarding repairs and maintenance.
  • Regular upkeep can prevent large claims at the end of the lease.
  • Take photos and keep records of the property's condition at the start and end of the lease.
  • Engage in negotiations as soon as you receive the schedule of dilapidations to avoid legal proceedings.

Commercial property dilapidation advice for landlords

  • Regular property inspections can help identify issues early.
  • Hire a professional surveyor. They can provide a detailed and accurate schedule of dilapidations.
  • Be open to negotiation to reach a fair settlement quickly.
  • Understanding your legal position can help in pursuing a claim effectively.

Dilapidations claim time limit

The landlord should typically provide the tenant with a schedule of dilapidations promptly after the end of the tenancy, aiming to do so within a reasonable timeframe, usually not exceeding 56 days.

The timing for claims varies by lease. It's advisable to check the lease for specifics. Normally, claims should be made a reasonable time before or after the lease ends.

Who pays for dilapidation?

Usually, tenants cover dilapidation costs unless the lease sets different terms. The lease often states that the tenant should maintain and repair the property. Therefore, they bear the costs.

Contact dilapidation claims solicitors

If you need guidance on dilapidation claims, get in touch with Moeen & Co. Solicitors.

Our team is prepared to offer the expertise and support you require. Call us at 0203 959 7755 to book a consultation.

There are several ways to contact our solicitors based in Hayes, London:

We are located near Hayes and Harlington Station on Hayes High Street, in Hayes Town Centre. 

FAQs: Dilapidation Claims 

A landlord can make a dilapidation claim at the end of the lease term. However, the process often begins with an inspection and the preparation of a schedule of dilapidations shortly before the lease ends or immediately after.

Assessors use the property's state, lease duration, and repair costs for calculations. They create a detailed report on the work and its costs. This report is integral for sorting the claim.

The timeline can vary, but typically it involves an initial inspection and schedule preparation within a few months of the lease end, followed by a negotiation period that can last several weeks to months.

If no settlement is reached, legal proceedings can extend the timeline significantly.

If a dilapidation claim goes to court, a judge will review the evidence presented by both parties and make a decision on the validity of the claims and the amount of compensation, if any, the tenant must pay.

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