We find it is essential to know when clients are taking on a lease what distinguishes Schedules of Condition (SoC) as just adequate, from those which best protect tenants. So it is crucial to get the wording and content right at the outset, then to know how to most effectively use it to minimise dilapidations settlements at lease end/break.
The 2 distinct disciplines of chartered surveyor involved in dilapidations each use the SoC in a way unique to their respective expertise. The Building Surveyor as a precise benchmark to measure how the property’s condition at lease end/break, compares to the start. Then the Valuer has a “second bite at the cherry” if you like. Rather than precise comparison between start and exit, the Valuer is able to conclude in their expert opinion that “new” items arising since the lease began do not diminish the property’s value because overall, it was tatty then, and whilst a bit more tatty now, it requires gutting and modernising in any event. Common to both defences, is the need for a comprehensive SoC at the outset, expressly referenced in the Decorating as well as Repairs clause.
Our article stresses the importance of properly produced, well-evidenced Schedules of Condition. This article was featured in EG Magazine on the 14th January 2022 (reproduced with their permission).
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