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Why your business needs a Schedule of Condition when taking on a new lease

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Businesses often need to take on a lease on new premises as they grow – it is a natural part of the process for building up a company. Getting your new lease and moving into the premises can be very exciting, and it can feel like a fantastic new chapter for the company. But unfortunately, some business leaders and directors do not pay enough careful attention to the terms of their lease.

As a tenant of a building, it is absolutely essential that you should be aware of the obligations surrounding the upkeep, maintenance and repairs of the premises.

To that end, it is a great idea to have a Schedule of Condition created when you first take on the lease. This should be carried out by an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor.

What is a Schedule of Condition?

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A Schedule of Condition involves the carrying out of a detailed building survey – which is then presented as a descriptive and photographic report.

The report is designed to formally record the current state and condition of the premises at the point that your company took over the lease. The report should include a number of different details regarding the property including a floorplan and current arrangements of the property.

Why do you need a Schedule of Condition?

There are actually a number of reasons to have a Schedule of Condition carried out. Firstly, the report details the condition of the premises as they are at the start of the lease. It is often important that when the lease ends, the tenant must ensure that the premises are back in the same state as they were when the lease was taken out.

Therefore, the report provides a fully accurate rundown of what the business needs to do at the end of the tenancy.

Secondly, the report provides legal protection against dispute from the building owner. If, at the end of the lease, you are accused by the owner of making changes to the building such as the installation or removal of internal walls, you have a report that proves otherwise.

It also ensures that the building owner cannot accuse you of leaving the premises in a worse state that when you entered them.

The costs can mount up

The costs that can be involved if there is a dispute raised by the building owner are often not trivial. The cost of dilapidations could include areas of the building that can run up significant amounts such as heating systems, external grounds, and the roof.

A Schedule of Condition can prove the state of the premises when the building was entered so that there are no opportunities for building owners to make expensive claims.

At Bradley-Mason LLP, we have extensive experience drawing up Schedules of Condition for clients to ensure that their tenancy can run smoothly. If you would like more information, please get in contact with our knowledgeable team today.

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