Landlords and Tenants frequently enter into a lease for a commercial property without any particular regard for its condition at the commencement of the tenancy and no particular strategy to maintain the building in accordance with the repairing provisions in the lease during the period of occupation. Sooner or later, the landlord/tenant relationship will end, usually when the tenant decides to leave. Attention will then focus on the contractual matters arising from termination of the lease, including the condition of the building, and any dilapidations issues which might exist.
A claim for dilapidations at the end of a commercial tenancy relates to a failure to comply with lease covenants and can be a worrying, and often costly, experience for both a Landlord and a Tenant. A “claim” more usually arises at the end of a tenancy and can develop into a dispute when the parties to a lease are unable to agree a suitable resolution. It is important therefore, for both a Landlord and Tenant, to understand the dilapidations process and take care, and advice, to minimise stress, liability and expense.
Planning ahead, and seeking professional advice where necessary, is often a diligent and sensible approach and both a Landlord and Tenant will certainly benefit by considering strategy well before the end of the lease term. This can be even more important in longer term leases where a landlord and tenant may have had little contact for many years and particularly if a building has been altered or amended in any way during the period of the tenancy.
In the majority of cases dilapidations claims are satisfactorily resolved by RICS qualified surveyors, whether acting on behalf of a landlord or tenant, who are regulated by specific procedures and Protocols. Beresford Adams Commercial handle many dilapidations cases each year and will be pleased to provide an initial appraisal and advice for landlords and tenants. Our approach is strictly professional and in accordance with RICS Guidelines, in particular, the Dilapidations Pre-Action Protocol which is now a formal guidance.
We operate on a fair and constructive fee basis.