The word dilapidations refers to the breach of covenants on leasehold buildings relating to the condition of the property.
Dilapidations are said to have occurred when one or more areas have fallen into disrepair. It can be a difficult situation to deal with because issues usually arise as the tenant is vacating the property. Often, dilapidations are not noticed until the last minute.
Oratto member lawyers are highly experienced in commercial property litigation issues and will be able to help you deal with legal liability for dilapidations competently and quickly. Very often, they will be able to give you same-day advice.
Dilapidations - The technical name for repair works to commercial property. Often those which should have been carried out by the tenant as per their lease. They are usually specific covenants, but it is also possible to have implied covenants within tort and contract law.
When do disputes arise? - Quite simply, they occur when repairs have been due under the terms of the lease, but have not been completed.
What remedies are available? - Remedies for dilapidations are enshrined in common law. Section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act dictates that the damages due to the landlord are made up of:
- Any loss of rent while the repairs are done
- The cost of the repairs themselves
Why is dealing with dilapidations sometimes problematic? - When a commercial property is leased to run a business, or another similar enterprise, naturally the focus of the tenant is on this business and the landlord will be happy to just let the tenant get on with things in line with the leasehold agreement. This can sometimes mean that because of the separate interests of the parties, repair has quite possibly not been a priority during the lease period.
When the lease is up or the tenant vacates the premises, suddenly, both parties find that the property is in a state of disrepair. The commercial tenants want to move out quickly and the landlord wants to be able to let the property again as soon as possible - repairs are the last thing either party wants to be concerned with.
Why do I need a specialist commercial property solicitor?
There are three different types of ‘schedules of condition' which can be prepared and issued by the landlord and these essentially set out the obligations which are incumbent upon the tenant:
- Interim (during the lease)
- Terminal (within the last three years of the lease)
- Final (coming at the end of the lease)
However, having a detailed schedule drawn up at the beginning of the tenancy by a property law expert can save thousands of pounds in the long run by making maintenance responsibilities clear. An Oratto member lawyer experienced in commercial property issues will be able to help protect your interests.
We can connect you instantly with an Oratto member property lawyer who will be able to help and advise you through what could be a potentially tricky situation. There is plenty of scope for disagreement where dilapidations are concerned; over the liability, cost and extent of the work needed. This is also rapidly becoming a niche area of litigation, which means that a specialist commercial property litigation solicitor from Oratto will be ideally placed to suit your needs.
So don't delay – contact Oratto today so that we can put you in touch with the best legal advice on commercial property dilapidations.