In the Media: North West Business Insider speaks to Michael Jones about what should a tenant consider before exiting a property
Normally, prior to a lease end or lease break, the tenant will
receive a schedule of dilapidations from their landlord, outlining
their expectation for work to be carried out before exit,
ostensibly to return the building to the state it was in prior to
the tenancy. Whether a tenant chooses to do that work, in full or
in part, or simply negotiate a cash payment, will depend on the
terms of their lease, their financial position and their appetite
for a fight.
First, dig out the original lease and find out what liabilities
were agreed back when it was signed. Hopefully enough thought was
put into the dilaps at that stage, and the building has been
maintained and nothing altered without landlord consent, so as not
to put the tenant on the back foot.
An experienced building surveyor with detailed knowledge of
dilapidations law will be able to advise on undertaking a project
to return the building to the stated level, or will negotiate on
your behalf a sum that relieves you of those liabilities in part,
if not in whole.
The value of the landlord's claim, and the cost of the final
payment, will depend on the negotiating position based on the terms
of the lease, and your surveyor's ability to employ a variety of
arguments to keep cash in your pocket, not your landlords.
These are not insignificant sums of money. We work for a client
nationally who, over the last 18 months, has faced substantial
dilapidation claims for seven buildings, all of which we have
successfully fought and brought payments down by a total of
Very few tenants get out of their premises without having to
fork out anything at all, dilapidations are as certain as death and
taxes. So it is wise to factor a savings scheme into the annual
budget to cover those future liabilities and, of course, make sure
you have a dilapidations expert on hand when agreeing terms on your
new building too.
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