Bradley-Mason LLP are one of the leading Commercial Dilapidations specialists throughout the UK who act for a variety of Tenants and Landlord’s in all aspects of dilapidations and leasehold repair matters. We have developed a proactive approach to advising on dilapidations and when acting for either Landlord’s or Tenant’s we have adopted a fresh approach, which ensures compliance with the Dilapidations Protocol and aims to avoid unnecessary costs and reach settlement without the need for a protracted dispute or a legal claim.
DILAPIDATIONS SPECIALIST SURVEYORS
The subject of dilapidations is wide ranging and is often misunderstood by many, in particular confusion between the obligations under Commercial Leases and those typically experienced under a residential Lease. We can offer advice on the various issues arising from leasing a property from ensuring your liabilities for a new lease are minimised through to providing Expert Witness advice on claims which have fallen into dispute. Our Team of specialist Building Surveyors throughout the UK act for a variety of corporate clients in all sectors, together with private Landlords and Property Funds.
CONSIDER DILAPIDATIONS EARLY
Whether acting for a Landlord or Tenant we consider it is essential to consider dilapidations at an early stage and develop a strategic approach to any situation to ensure strength and weaknesses are known and managed and a suitable strategy developed for each situation. It is important to fully understand the Lease and other documents applicable to each claim and fully understand our client’s business aims which run parallel to any dilapidations issue.
We can offer advice in respect of potential dilapidations under an existing Lease when a company is being acquired or an existing Lease assigned. We also provide regular advice in respect of interim dilapidations which occur during a Lease. Whether you are a Landlord concerned over your Tenants lack of maintenance of your property or a Tenant who considers their Landlord is claiming unrealistic works, we can advise on the obligations under the Lease, what legal protection is in place and develop a strategy to agree a suitable outcome.
Check out the individual areas below to learn more about how we can help you with your dilapidations requirements
DO YOU NEED A DILAPIDATIONS SURVEY?
Whether our client is the Landlord or Tenant, we recommend that dilapidations are considered well in advance of Lease end, to ensure the most favourable outcome on both sides. For Landlords, it is very useful to know the condition of the building before the end of the Lease and ensure the Tenant has been fully notified of the works required. Some Landlords prefer the works to be implemented and by notifying the Tenant early, the works can then be monitored to ensure defects are not hidden and the quality of work is adequate. Other Landlords may prefer a cash settlement and by raising dilapidations early there is the option of negotiating an agreement with the Tenant.
SETTLING DILAPIDATIONS PRIOR TO LEASE END
For the Tenant, reaching an agreement prior to Lease end can be beneficial as it often saves time and money, in particular in avoiding a protracted dispute with the Landlord. A Tenant will always want to leave the property without incurring any additional costs, especially as once the Lease has ended they no longer have control over how the Landlord implements the repairs. A Landlord’s claim can then quickly escalate and additional costs are claimed, including loss of rent, professional fees and other costs. By understanding the potential works early, enquiries can be made to establish historic events, competitive quotations can be obtained and early dialogue entered into with the Landlord to try and reach a satisfactory outcome. Some Tenants also implement periodic surveys during a term to assess the works they will need to do when the Lease ends and ensure the standard of maintenance throughout the Tenancy is to a good standard and reduces future dilapidations.
Our team of qualified professionals will ensure you will always receive the best advice from an experienced Dilapidations Surveyor. We work throughout the country, from London to Leeds and beyond. We also work with a broad range of businesses from SMEs through to national and international franchises.
HOW MUCH COULD YOU SAVE?
Over the last 12 months we have: –
- Saved an average of 50% on all settlements
- Handled over 150 claims for Tenants, with 90% agreed before Lease termination
- Prepared and managed over 50 claims for Landlords, with 75% settled within 3 months.
- We have project managed works for Landlords to allow premises to be relet without additional capital contribution.
A testimonial from one of our Dilapidations clients
“Working on TJX Europe’s behalf, Bradley Mason have achieved very advantageous settlements for each of our recent TK Maxx store and DC closures. Not only were these secured below expenditure expectations, but Bradley Mason also managed the process very smoothly, working closely with our contractors to deliver outstanding results.”
Claire Kenney – AVP Property, TJX Europe
Dilapidations refers to the current state of repair of a property, and specifically the costs or works that are required to return a property to the state that it was originally in at Lease commencement.
A Dilapidations survey is a highly detailed survey and report into the current condition of a building, from the physical structure and systems to issues involving furnishings and general wear and tear. They are generally undertaken during a Lease Term or towards the end of a tenancy.
Yes, it is always advisable to take professional advice before you accept your landlord’s Dilapidations claim in full. There may be elements of the cost which are inflated, or the claim might include items which are not relevant to your tenancy.
If you cannot agree to a compromise with your landlord over the Dilapidations then the case could end up in court. However, this a very expensive and time-consuming option which the landlord will generally avoid. Talk to your own surveyor and solicitor if this appears to be the direction things are moving.
It is the case that in most commercial leases tenants are required to keep the property in good repair. If the property is in a poor condition when you are considering taking them on you can negotiate a lower rent or lower premium in order to allow you to make the required changes. Alternatively, you may reach an agreement with your landlord that the state of property will be returned to the condition it was leased in. In this case you should have a Schedule of Condition agreed by both parties and appended to the Lease.
This depends on the terms of the lease that you have with the landlord. It may be the case that the landlord will require you to restore the property to the original state before the alterations were made. The landlord may however believe the changes have added value. You will either be liable to make the changes to restore to the original state or pay the costs of doing so.
When nearing the end of a tenancy and receiving a dilapidation claim from your landlord’s surveyor, you should engage with a Chartered Surveyor to act on your behalf to ensure the claim is a fair reflection of the works required to return the property to its original state. Once a survey has been completed, the surveyor can enter dialogue with the opposing party to reach a suitable result.
Dilapidations surveys are typically carried out during, and at the end of a tenancy to establish the current condition of a property, or to understand the costs involved in returning the property to its initial condition. We advise you are proactive if you do not intend to renew your lease and seek advice on Dilapidations well in advance of lease end before the Landlord submits a claim. This will give you time to either negotiate a settlement without doing all the works or give you time to do the works at the best cost.
You should receive a Dilapidations claim from your landlord near the end of your tenancy, giving you enough time to respond and either agree a settlement or carry out the required works before Lease End. There is not however any requirement for a landlord to notify you of the works needed and you should be aware of your lease obligations and implement the works required. In some instances, a landlord will intentionally avoid notifying the works, as they prefer to claim for the cost of these after the lease has ended and you are no longer able to implement them.