Your tenants may allow your premises to fall into disrepair or make alterations which need to be made good. Whilst a carefully constructed lease will ensure your tenant is responsible for paying dilapidations, you may be forced to incur costs yourself to make premises tenantable. We are experienced at navigating the often complex procedure to ensure maximum recoveries are made with the minimum disruption to your rental income.
Restrictions on damages claims
The right to damages for breach of repairing obligations is not absolute and may be restricted by the lease or statute. The Leasehold Property (Repairs) Act 1938 means a claim against an occupying tenant for damages is only available where the lease was granted for at least seven years and has at least three years to run.
Schedule of dilapidations
The first step is to send your tenant a schedule of dilapidations setting out what you consider to be the breaches, the works required to be done to remedy those breaches and your costings for reinstatement. The schedule must be in a prescribed form and must comply with The Pre-Action Protocol for Claims to Damages in Relation to the Physical State of Commercial Property at Termination of a Tenancy (the ‘Dilapidations Protocol’).
Following the schedule of dilapidations, a quantified demand should be sent to your tenant, setting out all aspects of the dispute and the damages sought in respect of the breaches detailed in the schedule and giving your tenant a reasonable time to respond (usually 56 days). The quantified demand will need to say whether you or your surveyor will attend a meeting between the parties.
If the issue remains unresolved we can advise you on mediation or court action and represent you if you wish.
We can help with:
- Whether there are statutory or contractual restrictions on your damages claim
- Preparing your schedule of dilapidations
- Analysing which losses can be recovered
- Preparing your quantified demand
- Guidance on how to comply with the Dilapidations Protocol
- What the court process would involve
We work with you to achieve your desired goals and deliver results.