Dilapidation Surveyors and why they’re needed.
What are dilapidations?
Dilapidation Surveys are performed by independent dilapidation surveyors on behalf of the landlord or tenant to assess the condition of a commercial property. The highly detailed survey looks at the current condition of the building from the physical structure and installations to issues involving furnishings and general wear and tear. The subsequent survey report will therefore detail the works required to restore the property back to its original condition prior to the commencement of the lease.
Why is a dilapidation survey needed?
If you are a landlord, it is important to understand the condition of the building before the Lease ends in order that the Tenant can be made aware of any works required. Generally the tenant should be given the option of undertaking the required works or providing a cash sum to enable the landlord to undertake them.
Is it relevant only to Landlords of commercial property?
No, If you are a tenant, a dilapidation report by dilapidation surveyors can help you understand your obligations under the terms of your lease and giving you a stronger hand against a landlord who you feel may wish to try and claim for works which are not necessary.
The majority of commercial leases tenants are required to keep the property in good repair. If the property you wish to rent is in poor condition you should have the option of either agreeing a lower rent/premium or agreeing that the property will be returned to the condition it was leased in rather than with any improvements. If you are involved in such a scenario we would always advise having a Schedule of Condition agreed by both parties which can be appended to the Lease.
Should I wait to hear from my landlord or contact them first?
Dilapidation surveyors typically carry out surveys during, and at the end of a lease to establish the current condition of a property, or to understand the costs involved in returning the property to its initial condition. You should be proactive if you do not intend to renew your lease by seeking early dilapidations advice well in advance of the end of your lease and ideally before the Landlord submits a claim. This will give you time to either negotiate a settlement without doing all the works or give you time to do the works at the best cost and without incurring loss of rent and professional fees claims which are likely to be levied if works are carried out by the landlord following the termination of the lease.
What do I do if I have received a claim from my landlord?
When nearing the end of a tenancy and receiving a dilapidation claim from your landlord’s surveyor, we suggest you contact a Surveyor and ask that they act on your behalf to ensure the claim is a fair reflection of the works required to return the property to its original condition. Once a dilapidation survey has been undertaken, the dilapidations surveyor can discuss with the opposing party in the hope of negotiating a satisfactory conclusion.
If you cannot agree with your landlord over the Dilapidations then the case could end up in court. As with any litigation this has the ability to become protracted and expensive so we urge you to take professional advice if you sense this may be the direction things are going.
So who can help?
Dilapidations in respect of commercial property is one of our specialist services at Graham Kinnear Property Consultants and we act for a variety of Tenants and Landlord’s in dilapidations and in respect of leasehold repair matters. Our aim is to work hard in order to avoid unnecessary costs and therefore reach a satisfactory settlement without the need for protracted legal disputes.
The need for a dilapidation survey is often misunderstood or indeed more often overlooked leading to potential confusion and dispute at a later date. We recommend you take advice from a surveying firm to help understand your obligations regarding dilapidations and to ensure your liabilities for a new lease are reduced. If you are already embroiled in a dilapidations dispute then we can still assist you with advice and where necessary, Expert Witness advice on claims which have fallen into dispute. Our Dilapidation Surveyors cover most of England and Wales and are happy acting in all sectors including private Landlords, PLCs, Pension Funds, LPA Receivers and Property Funds.
It is important to fully understand the Lease and any other available relevant documents to determine any dilapidations issue.
We can offer advice in respect of potential dilapidations under an existing Lease, perhaps where a tenants company is being sold or it is proposed to assign a lease to a third party.
Whether you are a Landlord concerned about your Tenants lack of compliance with the repair and maintenance covenents of the lease or a Tenant who considers that their Landlord is claiming unrealistic works, we can assist you with initial advice and the formulation of a resolution strategy.
Final thought if you are a tenant:
We would always advise taking professional advice before accepting your landlord’s Dilapidations demand in full. It is possible that there may be parts of their claim which are inflated or not applicable to your lease. We could save you money!
Final thought if you are a landlord:
A dilapidations survey will control the maintenance of your investment and help avoid protracted disputes with your commercial tenants. It will also demonstrate to you tenants that you operate professionally and fairly.Back