Dilapidations Claim Solicitors across Yorkshire, Cumbria and the North East
Our Dilapidations Claims team has strong technical experience of complex issues.
Dilapidations claims refer to the covenants in a commercial lease which specify work that the tenant must undertake on the premises both during the tenancy and after it expires when the tenant vacates and the property is handed back. These clauses will specify things like decoration and the condition in which the property must be maintained. Simply, a landlord can and will claim compensation if the tenant has breached the agreed obligations set out in a lease.
Dilapidations claims are usually based on the cost of the repairs and reinstatement works that the tenant should have completed, along with any rent for the reasonable period needed to complete those works.
These claims are one of the most common causes of dispute between landlord and tenant.
How can Newtons help with commercial dilapidations claims?
The first step is ensuring that you are properly advised on your lease before it is entered into so that you understand the legal obligations together with what is reasonable. We can help negotiate any terms that are disputed before the lease is entered into.
Depending on the requirements for the maintenance of the property, it can be advisable to have a schedule of condition prepared by a surveyor together with photographs, once the lease is entered into. This will help address any arguments as to betterment, for example, whether the tenant is being required to put the property into a better condition than when they took possession. Of course, the lease might require the property to be kept in good condition by the tenant regardless of what it was like when they took it on!
When the lease is coming to an end, it is again worth getting a schedule of works prepared by a surveyor. Where possible the tenant should have these works carried out before giving back possession of the property. Otherwise, the tenant will lose the ability to manage the price paid for the work and the question of what is a reasonable price could be the subject of argument, especially where the tenant is being required to refund works instructed by the landlord.
Where there is a dispute as to what work is necessary, different surveyors will likely be instructed on behalf of the landlord and the tenant, with the differences being identified in a schedule. We help negotiate such schedules and where agreement cannot be reached, we will represent parties in court proceedings for a Judge to determine what is required under the lease and what sum is to be paid in compensation. Of course, if proceedings are issued, there is time to consider offers to settle “out of court” before the final hearing. We can consider forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, but if settlement isn’t possible, we will ensure that the court protocols for dilapidation claims are adhered to. If the case reaches a final hearing, we will ensure that you have excellent representation to maximise your prospects of a favourable outcome.
Disputes of this sort can be complex so strong and effective legal representation is essential. Investing in effective commercial dilapidations legal advice before a lease is signed can prevent disputes in the future, saving time and money for all involved.
At Newtons, our commercial property team and where required our litigation team will work to ensure that your interests are protected and your commercial targets pursued. Please get in touch today to arrange a phone or video call, or a meeting at our office.
Please contact our Commercial Land and Disputes Team
For legal advice regarding commercial disputes, please contact our team who will be happy to help. We can organise a video call, phone call or in-office meeting, depending on your preference.