What are dilapidations - a quick Q&A summary

What are dilapidations - A Quick Q&A summary

Dilapidations are the repairing obligations which a tenant is liable for under the terms of their lease.

Q. What can a tenant do to safeguard against a dilapidations charge?

A When taking the lease, a tenant should agree a "Schedule of Condition" where the landlord agrees that the premises need not be in a better state at the termination of the lease.

Q. lf a tenant has caused damage, what should they do before moving?

A Thought must be given to dilapidations well ahead of any move, even up to a year in advance. This will allow time to approach the Landlord to discuss whether they want the works done or whether they would prefer a cash settlement. Invariably, Landlords prefer cash so a tenant is in a better negotiating position if they propose to do the work. It is worth keeping a dilapidations fund in order to avoid a cash-flow shock when it is time to move.

Q. Are there factors that lessen liability?

A Yes. Tenants should be aware of the Landlord's intentions at the end of the term. The dilapidations liability of a tenant is limited to the loss that the Landlord suffers if the tenant does not carry out repairs in accordance with its obligations. If the Landlord were to make substantial changes to the property the tenant may not be liable. For example, if the landlord is going to convert an office into residential it will suffer no loss for the offices being in a poor state of repair and potentially no valid claim.