Dilapidations Advice – Guildford, Surrey

We received instruction in March to provide dilapidations’ advice to a Client who occupied an industrial unit in Guildford.  Our Client’s Lease was due to expire and they had been requesting details of the landlord’s dilapidations’ requirements for months.  An unpriced Terminal Schedule of Dilapidation was served on our Client a few weeks before lease expiry. This left them little time to address the claim.

Our Client, the Tenant, was concerned that a number of the items in the claim were not valid. They wanted advice on their liabilities in accordance with their lease requirements.  The Client was committed to ensuring they complied with their dilapidations’ requirements, arranging to complete the works before they vacated. 

We undertook a review of the Lease and the Schedule of Condition. The Schedule of Condition was prepared prior to the lease commencement and set out defects which existed at that time.  The Schedule of Condition limited out Clients repairing obligations by setting out pre-existing issues. Our Client was not liable for these defects or issues so we needed to ensure they were not included it the claim.

We undertook a site inspection and assessed the Schedule of Dilapidation and the Schedule of Condition. These were considered in accordance with the Lease provisions.  We were then able to advise our Client on the scope of the claim. The majority of the claim was valid, however some items were recorded in the Schedule of Condition. This confirmed they were present at the Lease commencement and therefore our Client was not responsible for them.

Our Client managed to complete most the works. This was a challenge due to the time available and the issues surrounding Covid 19. Our Client was keen to retain control over the works and once completed, yielded up the property to the landlord.  Our Client was confident that they had addressed most of the claim. They did not anticipate any significant issues to be raised by the landlord.  They were unfortunately disappointed that this was not the case.

Our Client received a costed dilapidations claim from the landlord following lease expiry.  The value of the claim was far in excess of our Clients expectations. Our Client believes the revised claim was prepared without the landlord having inspected their completed works due to current restrictions.

Our Client is seeking clarification for the landlord on the claim.