Dilapidation Claims

We act for a wide range of landlords and tenants ranging from those with a nationwide portfolio to those with just a few properties, as well as multi-occupier tenant clients. Dilapidation disputes have the potential to be extremely expensive because of the need to instruct a surveyor and potentially a valuer to confirm that the value of the claim does not exceed the reduction in the value of the property.

We can assist at an early stage by advising clients in relation to the ambit of repairing obligations in a lease, serving any notices that might be required for the tenant to reinstate the premises and reviewing draft schedules of dilapidations to ensure compliance with the dilapidations protocol.

Many dilapidation cases settle as a result of negotiation between the surveyors acting for the parties and we can assist with this by providing legal advice in relation to the tenant’s liability under a lease and how the court is likely to view a particular claim in a schedule of dilapidations.  Part of this process might involve using methods of so-called alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and expert determination, to resolve disputes without the need to issue court proceedings.

If an agreement cannot be reached, we have experience in bringing claims in the County Court as well as the Technology and Construction Court for more valuable or technically complicated cases. We provide a cost estimate for the work that we will undertake, and we can assist clients who are new to this area by recommending expert dilapidation surveyors and, if necessary, barristers with particular expertise in dilapidation claims.

In circumstances where disrepair is particularly serious and requires urgent remediation, we advise landlords and tenants about the steps they can take to attempt to forfeit/terminate leases, respond to such attempts or potentially apply to the court for the performance of repairing obligations, although obtaining such an order is difficult.

How can we help you?

In summary, we can provide the following services to landlords and tenants:

  • Advising in relation to the meaning and scope of repairing, redecorating and reinstatement provisions in a lease
  • Servicing notices to reinstate premises
  • Reviewing and arranging to serve interim and final schedules of dilapidations
  • Advising surveyors in relation to ongoing negotiations to try to resolve dilapidation disputes
  • Instructing expert surveyors and those valuing in relation to dilapidation claims
  • Arranging to serve schedules of dilapidations
  • Drafting letters of claim and court proceedings if a settlement cannot be reached
  • Using mediation and expert determination to resolve dilapidation disputes
  • Taking dilapidation claims to trial