Schedules of Dilapidations
Wording in a lease is vital and not always to be taken at its face value. Where there is an obligation to repair, unless this is specifically qualified in the lease wording, the tenant could be taking on more than it initially anticipated. Where a building has a leaky roof at the start of the lease for example, if the lease is silent the obligation to mend the roof will rest with the tenant.
We recommend a structural survey is carried out at the start of any lease. It will highlight possible problems whilst negotiations are still possible. A detailed photographic schedule of condition prepared by a surveyor is an effective way of limiting dilapidations claims at the end of the lease. Careful drafting can minimise the physical area covered within the lease and restrict the amount a landlord can recover under the service charge. Equally being armed with a list of defects at a property will only increase a tenants’s negotiation position if it then goes back to ask for a rent reduction or rent free period.