Hammersmith Property Litigation Solicitor Maya Elci considers issues surrounding dilapidation claims in commercial leases.

The tenants have a legal obligation to ensure that any defects caused to the property are put right in line with the terms of the lease in place.

In the absence of this the landlord is entitled to make a dilapidations claim against the tenant. Such claims can be brought forward during the terms of the lease or alternatively at the end of the lease. The landlord must set out the repairs required in order for the tenant to conduct the required repairs. Alternatively, the landlord can carry out the repairs and charge the tenant for the incurred costs. In the absence of either of these, the landlord can claim for damages, forfeiture or specific performance.

In order to avoid such disputes parties must ensure that they are familiar with the relevant terms of the lease e.g. terms relevant to repairs and covenants. It is also important to understand whether such obligations relate to structural repairs or interior decoration.

In addition the property must be inspected to ensure that the accurate condition is referred to within the lease. It is also important to ensure that the parties understand the relevant clause relating to dilapidations and their obligations.

In order to assist with disputes, it would be a good practice to prepare a schedule of condition accompanied with images, which would be invaluable when facing dilapidations claims, although it may be difficult to identify certain defects in such schedules.

Hammersmith Property Litigation Solicitor Maya Elci notes that Issues surrounding dilapidations can be complicated, if you have been presented with a claim it is important that you refer to the terms of the lease and consider obtaining expert opinion from a surveyor.

If you have any queries about a property litigation matters please contact Maya Elci on me@hpwsolicitors.co.uk


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