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Dilapidations Disputes

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When a commercial lease is coming to an end, the parties to the lease are likely to revisit the repairing covenants to see if there are any dilapidations to the property. Dilapidations are damages to the leased property, which the tenant is responsible for repairing under the terms of their lease.

If you are a landlord or a tenant of a commercial lease which is coming to an end then amongst other things, you ought to revisit the lease to establish whether there are any repairing covenants or obligations, governing the state of repair of the premises when the tenant relinquishes possession at the end of the term.  If the tenant has failed to comply with its repairing obligations, the Landlord may bring a claim against the tenant for damages.

Landlords would normally instruct a surveyor to inspect the premises and prepare a schedule of dilapidations. The schedule of dilapidations informs the tenant what repairs the landlord considers are required to be carried out.  As there are specific rules, covering when and how a schedule of dilapidations should be served on the tenant, it would be sensible to instruct a solicitor to serve the schedule of dilapidations for you.

If you are a tenant who has been served with a schedule of dilapidations, you should consider instructing a surveyor and solicitor to assist you in responding to the schedule of dilapidations.

How does the process work?

Once a landlord has served the tenant with a schedule of dilapidations, the parties should comply with the “Dilapidations Protocol” which is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998. The purpose of the Dilapidations Protocol is to enable parties and their professional advisers to seek to resolve any dilapidations issues without having to commence court proceedings.

The flowchart available here provides a basic summary of how the Dilapidations Protocol works and the steps that parties should take.

In certain circumstances, there can be some benefit in serving a schedule of dilapidations prior to the termination of the lease. If a tenant is served with a schedule of dilapidations, prior to the termination of the lease (but still close to the end of the term of the lease), it can also afford the tenant the ability to carry out any necessary repairs before handing the premises back to the Landlord.

How long does the process take?

The process mentioned in the flowchart above can take a few months, depending on how constructive the negotiations between parties are.

However, if the Landlord issues court proceedings, a claim is likely to be considered at trial within a period of 12 to 18 months. In the majority of cases, disputes are resolved prior to trial by parties agreeing settlement terms.

How much does it cost?

When we meet with you, we will consider the matters that need to be attended to and provide you with a cost estimate at the outset. Please note that there is likely to be input from surveyors and therefore you should also be mindful of the costs associated with instructing a surveyor to either prepare or challenge a schedule of dilapidations.

What you should consider before calling

Before calling us or arranging a meeting with one of our specialist lawyers, please ensure you have a copy of your lease to hand, together with any licence for alterations or deed of variation. If relevant, please also ensure that you have a copy of any survey report/schedule of condition that was commissioned at the time the lease was entered into.

Meet the Dilapidations Disputes team
Ray Crudgington
Managing Partner
greenwich
02083054224
ray.crudgington@grantsaw.co.uk
Maria Lati
Partner
Head of Residential Property
blackheath
02083054229
maria.lati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mike Clary
Partner
Head of Family
greenwich
02083054237
mike.clary@grantsaw.co.uk
Kalpa Prajapati
Partner
Head of Private Client
blackheath
02083053536
kalpa.prajapati@grantsaw.co.uk
Mario Savvides
Partner
Head of Commercial Property
greenwich
02083053531
mario.savvides@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah-Kate Jackson
Partner
Head of Litigation
greenwich
02083054236
sarah-kate.jackson@grantsaw.co.uk
Adina-Leigh Collins
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053556
adina-leigh.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Aimal Gram
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053524
aimal.gram@grantsaw.co.uk
Aisha Mohammed
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054228
aisha.mohammed@grantsaw.co.uk
Aishat Balogun
Aishat Balogun
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054214
aishat.balogun@grantsaw.co.uk
An Le Tran
Commercial Property
Professional Support Solicitor
greenwich
02083054226
anle.tran@grantsaw.co.uk
Angus Young
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054225
angus.young@grantsaw.co.uk
Atifha Aftab
Atifha Aftab
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054238
atifha.aftab@grantsaw.co.uk
Bimal Kotecha
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053523
bimal.kotecha@grantsaw.co.uk
Charlotte Mandy
Charlotte Warren
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054231
charlotte.warren@grantsaw.co.uk
Claire Mac Mahon
Litigation
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053537
claire.macmahon@grantsaw.co.uk
Deborah Taite
Residential Property
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053542
deborah.taite@grantsaw.co.uk
Emily Pearce
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053526
emily.pearce@grantsaw.co.uk
Georgia Beales
Litigation
Paralegal
greenwich
02083054206
georgia.beales@grantsaw.co.uk
James McKimm
James McKimm
Corporate and Commercial
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054217
james.mckimm@grantsaw.co.uk
Jeremy Brooks
Jeremy Brooks
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083053534
jeremy.brooks@grantsaw.co.uk
Joanna Godden
Notary Public
Notary
greenwich
02083083535
joanna.godden@grantsaw.co.uk
Kim Whitaker
Kim Whitaker
Corporate and Commercial
Head of Corporate and Commercial
greenwich
02083053539
kim.whitaker@grantsaw.co.uk
Laura Danquah
Compliance Manager
greenwich
02083054222
laura.danquah@grantsaw.co.uk
Lauren Smith
Employment and Family
Paralegal
greenwich
02083053543
lauren.smith@grantsaw.co.uk
Mandeep Clair
Family
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054235
mandeep.clair@grantsaw.co.uk
Michael Pope
Employment
Consultant Solicitor
greenwich
02083053540
michael.pope@grantsaw.co.uk
Michelle Pinnington
Michelle Pinnington
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054216
michelle.pinnington@grantsaw.co.uk
Noella Gooden
Employment
Solicitor (Australian qualified)
greenwich
02083053543
noella.gooden@grantsaw.co.uk
Raj Waghela
Raj Waghela
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083053529
raj.waghela@grantsaw.co.uk
Randeep Thethy
Randeep Thethy
Residential Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054209
randeep.thethy@grantsaw.co.uk
Ruggero Pesciatini
Ruggero Pesciatini
Corporate and Commercial
Paralegal
greenwich
02083054220
ruggero.pesciatini@grantsaw.co.uk
Sarah Conner
Sarah Conner
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054234
sarah.conner@grantsaw.co.uk
Simran Lalli
Simran Lalli
Employment
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054208
simran.lalli@grantsaw.co.uk
Susan Collins
Commercial Property
Solicitor
greenwich
02083054200
susan.collins@grantsaw.co.uk
Tatiana Zenina
Tatiana Zenina
Private Client
Solicitor
blackheath
02083054239
tatiana.zenina@grantsaw.co.uk
Trisha Djemal
Trisha Djemal
Residential Property
Consultant Solicitor
blackheath
02083053546
trisha.djemal@grantsaw.co.uk
Tyrone Grant
Residential Property
Head of Leasehold Enfranchisement
blackheath
02083053522
tyrone.grant@grantsaw.co.uk
Denise
Accounts Staff
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Jayne Lye
Support Staff
Office Manager
greenwich
02083054204
jayne.lye@grantsaw.co.uk
Jamie
Support Staff
Head of IT
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Kasia
Accounts Staff
greenwich
02088586971
enquiries@grantsaw.co.uk
Michael Tobin
Michael Tobin
Support Staff
Marketing and Business Development Manager
greenwich
02083053550
michael.tobin@grantsaw.co.uk
Sue Holness
Support Staff
Customer Services
greenwich
02083054221
sue.holness@grantsaw.co.uk