A building will always show some signs of wear and tear by the end of a lease. Many tenants choose to redecorate or alter their premises and may also have caused some damage during their time in the property.
Dilapidations are the exit costs to restore a property back to its original state. They are covered by repairing covenants contained in a lease and could include building repairs or undoing any aesthetic alterations. The lease will state who is responsible for carrying out this work.
Terminal dilapidations are breaches of repairing covenants relating to the physical state of the premises at the time when the lease ends. These covenants could include but are not limited to:
- Repairing covenant. This will cover building repairs.
- Decorating covenant. This relates to the cost of redecorating the premises, back to its original state.
At the end of the term
A claim for damages is the landlord’s only option once the lease has ended.
Assessing the damages for breach of a repairing covenant
There is a distinction between claims for breach of a repairing covenant brought during the term and those brought once the term ends.
During the term
If a landlord brings a claim for breach of a tenant’s covenant to repair a property during the term, the starting point for calculating damages is the diminution in the value of the reversion. This is the estimated loss of value in the property as a result of a tenant failing to comply with covenants, In other words, it is not the full cost of repairs.
At the end of the term
If a landlord is pursuing a dilapidations claim against a tenant after the lease end, damages are calculated differently. The measure of damages is the reasonable cost of doing the works plus loss of rent for the period until the works have been completed, where appropriate, and fees.
The Cap On Damages
We recommend that you give serious thought to Section 18 (1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 which limits the damages available for breach of a repairing covenant.
Can you help with Dilapidations?
At United Solicitors, we know exactly what to do, and we’re here to help you do it. We have a team of lawyers who specialise in dilapidations.
Where do I stand in Dilapidations?
This all depends on the breach and/or the nature of the repairing covenant. When you consult United Solicitors for advice, we will consider your case in great detail and provide clear guidance.
Do I have to take the matter to court?
This depends on the complexity of the breach and/or the nature of the repairing covenant. While litigation is always an option, we believe that it should be avoided whenever possible.
Our pragmatic approach allows us to explore and exhaust other avenues – making litigation the last resort.
How much will it cost?
From day one, we will seek to give you outstanding value and keep costs to a minimum. We can discuss with you and offer a range of funding options that may be appropriate to your particular case. Our aim is to ease as much stress and anguish as possible, our team will be on hand to provide support throughout the process.
Why choose us?
We help thousands of clients per year and we will work hard to get you the desired outcome and we will give you clear, jargon-free advice and guidance so you can be in complete control of your case.
How long will it take to resolve?
The answer varies depending on the nature and complexity of the breach and/or the nature of the repairing covenant. From the outset, we will give you clear advice and ensure that you are kept fully informed of any issues that may arise when trying to resolve your dispute.