Market Insight

Dorset Chamber: My landlord has served a Schedule of Dilapidations, what do I do?

We recently spoke to Dorset Chamber Magazine about what to do if faced with a dilapidations bill from your landlord. Here's what we had to say.
December 8, 2021
Vail Williams - LPA receivership services
Despite its long-established origins, the term ‘dilapidations’ remains a complex and misunderstood aspect of landlord and tenant affairs.

Should your landlord serve you with a Schedule of Dilapidations on a terminal basis, then it is important to seek professional advice to help you fully understand and deal with claim on your behalf.

Claims for dilapidations are normally resolved in one of two ways – sometimes a combination of both.

You might decide to undertake dilapidations liability work yourself before the lease ends, so you can hand back the premises in compliance with your lease obligations.

This option allows you to remain in control of the delivery and work costs but is likely to disruption to business continuity – particularly if you have to reinstate certain alterations. In many cases, this would involve vacating the building before your lease expires, having already taken occupation of new premises.

Once your lease expires, and if you do not undertake the dilapidations work yourself, you normally lose the right to occupy the premises.

In this case, your dilapidations claim will be negotiated as a monetary settlement based on the costs your landlord will incur in doing the work themselves, allowing them to re-market the property and secure a new tenant.

In addition to the cost of this work, the claim will also include other costs incurred by the landlord, such as professional fees for managing the work, amongst other (legitimate) losses that may apply.

Our Bournemouth-based building consultancy team can advise you in both situations – whether determining dilapidations liability and helping you deliver the necessary work, or scrutinising your landlord’s claim and negotiating a settlement based on relevant statute, case law and dilapidations protocol.

For more information or help in assessing and budgeting for future dilapidations liability, please get in touch.