Schedule of Dilapidation
Are you taking on more than you anticipated?
It may not be obvious when taking on a lease that where there is existing damage to the building, you could be taking on the obligation to repair unless this is specifically qualified in the lease wording.
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 tenant’s negotiating position if it then goes back to ask for a rent reduction or rent free period.