Strategic Thinking To Protect Your Property
The strength of any dilapidations claim depends on demonstrating the property’s condition at the date of lease expiry/break. Even with COVID-19 restrictions our network of expert chartered surveyors can immediately prepare Schedules of Dilapidations.
Practical Tips For Landlords
In our combined years of expertise dealing with dilapidations cases we have learned many practical steps landlords can take:
- If your tenant does not allow access in the run-up to lease expiry, then carry out your dilapidations survey within days of lease expiry/break.
- If there are COVID-19 restrictions or other access issues meaning that ordinary dilapidations surveys are not possible, inspections by specialist contractors engaged in safety (plumbing, gas, electrical etc.) and security (boarding up) work are most likely still will be. Arrangements can be made for those contractors to take a comprehensive schedule of internal and external photographs whilst there. We can provide a checklist tailored to the property. These can then be compared to what our Dilapidations Surveyor finds at a later detailed survey, in turn protecting you if a tenant’s surveyor argues that defects have worsened, or arisen, following lease expiry.
- Many leases have a Jervis -v-Harris clause allowing landlords to enter into a property during the term of the lease to remedy serious breaches of the tenant’s duties to repair. Using this clause is well worth considering when a lease expiry (or break date) is still some way off, but you are worried about your tenant’s solvency, or the risk of their company entering into a CVA to escape any liabilities. You can then carry out the (serious) works and recover the cost from the tenant as a debt due.
- When letting a property, your tenant may ask for a Schedule of Condition. This accurately records the condition of your property, ensuring that when the lease expires, it is clear what has deteriorated. Whilst helping the tenant, it also helps to enforce your landlord's rights. Our chartered building surveyors will carry out a building survey and advise on the details of breaches and priced repairs and negotiate accordingly. This will make it clear what needs to be remedied by the outgoing tenant or if not done, what compensation you are owed.
Statutory Cap The Tenant’s Defence To A Dilapidations Claim
In England, Wales, Ireland and Isle of Man, legislation limits damages to the lower of the cost of remedial works, or the impact (if any) the disrepair has on the property’s value. This is also known as the Section 18 Diminution in Valuation “statutory cap”.
If your former tenant uses this ‘defence’, you need to be able to robustly challenge it. This is the specialism of the Chartered Valuation Surveyor (CVS).
Our network of the highest calibre of specialist dilapidations surveyors has unparalleled experience of successfully maximising dilapidations damages for all commercial and leisure property genres, throughout the whole of the UK & Ireland.
We pursue every case as if it was our own property, uniquely employing both disciplines (‘building’ and ‘valuation’) of chartered surveyor, key to securing maximum damages for you. With our considerable experience we can either work with your solicitor or put you in touch with a specialist solicitor, to navigate this complex process ensuring the best outcome for you.
What Happens At Lease Expiry?
- At lease expiry, if your tenant is in breach of the lease and has not maintained the condition of your property, we uniquely provide the two disciplines of chartered surveyor required to offer informed landlord advice and achieve the best outcome when you claim damages.
- New landlord rules became part of the law in 2012 with the introduction of the Dilapidations Protocol (‘the Protocol’). This protocol will be triggered and its steps must be followed.
- Our chartered building surveyors will survey your property, identify breaches of covenants to repair, decorate and reinstate alterations, and prepare the Schedule of Dilapidations and Quantified Demand to be served upon your tenant.
- Our network of experienced chartered building surveyors advises on all commercial property types throughout the UK & Ireland, securing your landlord rights. They will negotiate your claim for damages to the highest possible potential settlement figure. Where negotiated settlement cannot be reached, the best outcome will then be pursued in ADR, usually mediation.
- If a tenant advances a Diminution in Value defence to try and reduce the eventual payment they make, we will examine and provide a robust rebuttal on your behalf.
- As a landlord, you may also need a Diminution in Value Report because the new landlord rules (the Dilapidations Protocol) state that one must be produced if the landlord is not doing all of the works claimed.
Examples Of Landlords We Have Helped
Dilapsolutions’ valuer battled hard for me, with informed and powerfully persuasive reports, and we received the settlement I needed to put things right
Additionally, our sister consultancies specialise in navigating to best outcome in matters, including: