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The cure to your dilapidation headache: a landlord’s perspective

Published on 15 May 2017 | Modified on 15 May 2017

Written by Stacey Bennett
Conveyancing Solicitors

Managing dilapidation claims is a major cause of headaches for many a landlord, especially when their tenants are not aware of their obligations in the lease. A dilapidation claim is often met with anger and frequently results in protracted negotiations.

Both landlords and tenants have an obligation to protect the property throughout the term of the lease and this even includes before a lease is signed.

We can provide the medication required to help cure your dilapidation headache. For instance:-

  • Perhaps one of the most effective steps you can take is to ensure you have an unambiguous lease clearly stating terms relating to repair, reinstatement and decoration.
  • Be helpful with any proposed tenant alterations; advise on the reinstatement obligations and be clear on the extent of potential dilapidation costs.
  • Be pro-active; complete annual inspections and meet your tenant to maintain conversations on the potential for dilapidations.
  • Consider interim remedies for less stable tenants such as repair notices or interim schedules of dilapidations.
  • Set out and agree a timeline for the dilapidations process in the run up to the lease expiry (bearing in mind a good tenant relationship will mean there is a higher chance of retention).
  • Can the tenant carry out the work or would you prefer they agree a monetary settlement to cover the costs? If so, monetary costs should be reasonably assessed to help avoid protracted negotiations.
  • Failing all of this, if agreement cannot be reached, consider other available options by discussing it further with our commercial litigation team.

Dilapidations claims can be costly and time consuming and your property will be further deteriorating whilst you are negotiating dilapidations. It is imperative that you ensure your lease is properly and carefully drafted to ensure it is clear where repairing obligations lie. A prudent landlord will therefore ensure this is addressed when the lease is being negotiated. The experienced commercial property team at Poole Alcock is on hand to help you through this process.

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