Dilapidation Costs and Clause Added to Lease

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    Dilapidation Costs and Clause Added to Lease

    Hi all.

    Hoping someone can offer a little advice please.

    I have just come to the end of a lease on a commercial property and the dilapidation works are arund 3 x the annual rent. the property is in no worse condition when I moved in however.

    To quickly explain.

    I took the property on in an un renovated condition. Nothing drastic but the landlord had not painted, removed goods etc. Pictures were taken and added to the lease. the property is on an estate owned by a massive property company (renovation of docklands etc)

    I had a clause added to the lease under the repairs section 'The tenant shall not be required to put the property in any better state or condition than it was at the time of this lease'

    The lease later states 'the tenant shall decorate in last three months of the lease' - I think the added clause above discounts this as it seems to come under the tenatof law and betterment.

    The dilapidation report also asks for other items such as flooring to be replaced when there was none in the property to begin with.

    The report also asks for electrical certificates along with asbestos - Both of which were never supplied to me.

    I fell out with the landlord 18 months ago when I did not agree to extandmy lease but moved to new and better premises. I think they have put blocks up to cause further issues. For example, I gave my intention to vacate 3 months before I left. However, the dilapidation report was given to me 4 working days before handing back of the keys was due. No permission was to be given to allow my trades in to price the same (very expensive works as set out by the surveyor) Had no chance of arranging anything really.

    Plus the dilapidation report costs pretty much the same as my deposit. That doesn't seem fair (or is that just me?)

    I have already replied to the surveyor once and offerd zero as settlement. Thay have asked me to review this.

    Any help will be good though please?

    Thanks

    #2
    This comes down to the specific wording in the lease and the condition of the property at the end of the term, which is a lot of detail. Given the amount demanded, you have to seriously consider appointing your own surveyor.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Lawcruncher

      The landlords have stated that we can't gain access to the properynow the lease has ended.

      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
      This comes down to the specific wording in the lease and the condition of the property at the end of the term, which is a lot of detail. Given the amount demanded, you have to seriously consider appointing your own surveyor.

      Comment


        #4
        I think it has to be the case that the landlord cannot hope to settle a dilapidations claim if he denies the tenant's surveyor access, but I have not been able to find confirmation of that online. I suggest you check the point with a surveyor.

        Comment


          #5
          "I had a clause added to the lease under the repairs section 'The tenant shall not be required to put the property in any better state or condition than it was at the time of this lease'."

          Was a Schedule of Condition prepared at the onset and affixed the lease? If so then you would not be liable for the items on the SoC, although you would be liable for any repair of the items listed if now in worse state and condition than as stated on the Soc. If not then who is say what state and condition the premises were in if there is no evidence?

          You say there was photographic evidence at the start of the lease so presumably taking photos of those parts of the premises that were photographed before and then comparing the photos would highlight any differences.

          As I understand, it is for the claimant (landlord) to establish the condition of the premises at the commencement of the lease. You have not set out the full wording of the repair covenant but the word 'condition' however goes beyond mere repair.

          "The lease later states 'the tenant shall decorate in last three months of the lease'. Decoration falls outside the definition of repair and is a separate issue.

          In principle, a tenant is able to ascertain what repair and decoration needs doing without needing the landlord's guidance. You could have carried out the work before you vacated - and should have done because unless otherwise agreed with the landlord beforehand or stated in the lease (unusual, ime) a tenant is not allowed to re-enter the premises to carry out works after vacating. It is also generally cheaper for a tenant to do the work before vacating as the tenant would have control of the costs.By doing most if not all of the repair etc before vacating, the extent of any Schedule of Dilapidations prepared by the landlord would be. nominal.

          A landlord does not have to prepare and serve a Schedule of Dilapidations before the tenant vacates but it is prudent to at least inspect and prepare so that the landlord has evidence of what the premises were like before the tenant has vacated.

          Things like electrical and asbestos reports are normally necessary for the tenant to provide, regardless of whether provided to you at the onset: you should check your lease for compliant requirements.

          The landlord's costs including its surveyor's fees are a separate issue. The sums involved in the context of your rent deposit are irrelevant.

          "No permission was to be given to allow my trades in to price the same (very expensive works as set out by the surveyor)". There is a Protocol for Schedule of Dilapidations. You would be well-advised to instruct an experienced surveyor to advise and deal with the matter on your behalf.

          ---

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