Commercial Lease Dilapidations query

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    Commercial Lease Dilapidations query

    I wondered if someone could help with a small business tenant with a commercial lease query, following handing back the keys 2 weeks ago. The lease was 5yrs unfurnished office space, extended 6 months under a separate license agreement. 3 months rent deposit, scheduled within the lease, but no separate rent deposit deed. Rent has always been paid in full and on time. The landlord says it may take up to 60 days to return the deposit, but is flirting with a deduction for dilapidations citing removal of "expensive bespoke fitted cupboards". These were in fact Ikea cupboards left by a former tenant, screwed to the wall but not fitted. There is no inventory, however I met the tenant 2 weeks before to ask what they wanted reinstated, but received no subsequent response. What is the best way to cover myself from unfair play in order that we can get our deposit returned without further delay?

    #2
    Hallo architect 78.
    I think I have the measure of this landlord! I suggest you give them 7 days to pay back the tenant after which you will issue a summons for the deposit moneys, which you can do very easily online on "Money Claim Online". You've just got to bring this to a head. It sounds like you won't get there any other way. I am sorry that some landlords don't play the game; a deposit is held in trust for the tenant, its tenants money and it is very naughty to fabricate reasons to withhold repayment. As concerns the IKEA cupboard or indeed any other stuff, if there is no contemporaneous schedule of condition how can they require it to be put back as it was.......

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      #3
      Thanks Flying Freehold,
      Interestingly, correspondence has come in with incredible effort to prove what was there, including former tenant statements, payment bills etc., albeit after the fact and nothing proving what was there at the date of move in.
      I guess the nuance of the case rests on to whether cupboards that encroach into the net lettable area are legitimately removable as they constitute furniture, and I have no obligation to store Furniture in the lease. There must be a distinction between fitted joinery, and chipboard boxes screwed to a wall.
      The same correspondence also states that he has the right to deduct the money (landlord is also a lawyer). I’ve offered a figure he can deduct, in order to save energy and move on, but otherwise the MCO route sounds fine.

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        #4
        Lawyers are the worst!

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