We regularly act for Tenants who are being pursued by their Landlord in terms of repairs during a Lease term. They may have been served with an Interim Schedule of Dilapidations or a Repairs Notice and are unsure whether they need to undertake the work. We can provide advice in general terms as to whether you would be liable for the work a Landlord has asked for and we can provide more detailed advice by inspecting a property, reviewing a Landlord’s claim in detail and acting on your behalf in negotiating these works with the Landlord.
WHAT IS REASONABLE?
Usually a Landlord has a valid reason for pursuing a Tenant for some repairs during a Term although they often include a variety of works which are not essential and may in fact seek to improve their investment. We can assess what is reasonable and use various legal protection to defend a claim if a Landlord is being unreasonable.
Historically it was very difficult for a Landlord to enforce any repairs during the Term unless there was a major problem and they sought to forfeit the Lease by serving a Section 146 Notice under the Law of Property Act 1925. In the current market, we find fewer Landlords want to actually forfeit the Lease and instead they will try and enforce the works on a Tenant. This had historically been more difficult although since the case of “Jervis v Harris” in 1995 it became possible for a Landlord to enter onto a property, implement the works required under the Lease and recover this cost as a debt if the terms of the Lease allow it. This can be a real threat to a Tenant as it not only gives the Landlord the ability to spend your money but it could cause operational problems whilst the works are being undertaken. We find that it is rarely implemented however often threatened and is something to be carefully considered.