The term 'Dilapidations' relates to commercial leases on buildings and is a complex area of work undertaken by Richard Bedford Surveying.
Landlords will want to ensure their property is brought back into repair, whereas tenants will wish to minimise exposure to a claim on exiting a lease.
When acting for a landlord, we will prepare a schedule of dilapidations. This schedule will also usually be costed, and this will be done for each identified breach within the relevant lease.
Alternatively, if acting for a tenant, we will investigate a schedule prepared by a Landlord to see if it is accurate.
Tenants should look to protect their interests further, prior to entering into a commercial lease, by having a schedule of condition undertaken of the premises. This must be done prior to signing a lease, and the schedule should be inserted into it and form part of the new lease prior to any formal signing. We can provide full and comprehensive schedules of condition for most buildings.
Where leases are entered into which are 'full repairing' in nature, there will usually be a covenant to 'keep or put back into repair' external elements of the demise. One very significant element is the roof and this can form a 'big ticket' item on any schedule of dilapidations. The image on the left shows a large commercial roof which has early cut-edge corrosion to the coated panels. Unless the tenant has the protection of a schedule of condition appended to, and forming part of the lease, in which the condition of the panels was the same both at lease start and lease end, the tenant will probably be liable for the not-insignificant costs associated with repair works needed to return the coating back to an undamaged, in repair state.
General Repair Liabilities
Tenants will usually be liable for the internal repair, re-instatement and decoration of the demise, even when a full repairing lease is not entered into. It is important to remember however, tenants are only obliged to return the premises in repair. Therefore, and depending on the wording of the lease, they should look to plan their exit strategy early and undertake the required-only level of repairs. In the image on the left, a single tile replacement and re-grouting only, would likely suffice under the terms of the lease subject to a repairing covenant.
Liabilities Relating To Services
Most buildings, subject to commercial leases, will have lots of services equipment and installations. This could include air conditioning units, boilers, lifts and air handling units. It is also highly likely that tenants will have covenanted to keep these items in repair, just as any other part of the demise. Both tenants and landlords will require the services of specialist consultants at some point, as their normally appointed/retained surveyors who deal with their dilapidations matters will not be competent in determining such matters. The image on the left shows air conditioning units. These have been subject to issues in recent years whereby their gas refrigerant (R22) is no longer available for replacement, thereby making new system-compliant installations a forced tenant requirement.
We are able to undertake inspections on most building types, including commercial, educational and institutional buildings, and as commercially licenced and insured drone operators with our own fleet of drones, we can inspect and report on any high level inaccessible or fragile area.
The extent of any dilapidations claim depends on the lease terms and the intentions of the landlord. We undertake negotiations on behalf of our clients, with a view to agreeing the extent of the works subject to lease terms.
Please contact us for more information on how we can assist you, whether you are a landlord or a tenant.