Dilapidations claims arise when a commercial tenant fails to keep its premises in the state of repair required by its lease covenants.
Issues arise when the landlord's schedule of dilapidations is disputed by the tenant, with the tenant wanting to minimise its liability and the landlord wanting to maximise recovery of its 'loss.' Our Property Litigation team can help to make this process, which can be long and frustrating, easier to manage.
We have considerable experience advising landlords and tenants in relation to both interim and terminal dilapidations claims. Dilapidations are often seen by tenants as 'hidden costs' and we understand their potential impact. We will take a practical approach, keeping our client's commercial objectives at the forefront, whilst also taking advantage of the numerous and complex case authorities that can be used to tailor a tactical approach to this area of law, to the advantage of either landlord or tenant.
How we can help you
- We will serve interim and terminal schedules of dilapidations and advise on timing issues, both from a tactical perspective and to ensure compliance with the Civil Procedure Rules Dilapidations Protocol where relevant.
- Working alongside your building surveyors we can assess the value of a dilapidations claim.
- We will issue or defend court proceedings on your behalf, whether a terminal claim for damages, or an interim claim for specific performance.
- We will advise on the statutory and common law limitations to dilapidations claims including, for example, those imposed by Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927.
- Advising the landlord of office premises in securing the settlement of a complex multi-million pound dilapidations claim, the former tenant having argued that its liability was limited to the cost of stripping out alterations that it had made to the premises.
- Acting for the landlord of pub premises in pursuing an interim claim for specific performance of the tenant's repairing covenants (the premises having been very significantly damaged by dry rot), defended by the tenant on the ground that the majority of the repair works should be held over to the end of the term of the long lease, again leading to a settlement including the agreement of a significant programme of works to be carried out by the tenant.