At Russen & Turner, we are qualified and experienced in working on behalf of both landlords and tenants on schedules of dilapidation.
Dilapidations are breaches of covenant to repair a building contained in a lease. Such breaches can take many forms, but might include non-compliance with decoration clauses or damaged windows.
Most tenants do not consider dilapidations as significant in comparison with rent, rates and service charges when they are seeking premises. However, the liability to repair can have serious financial implications and tenants must seek the advice of a chartered surveyor on opportunities to avoid limit or mitigate dilapidations before entering into a lease or if a schedule of dilapidations is served.
When disrepair occurs, a landlord may serve a schedule of dilapidations upon the tenant. A schedule served during the currency of a lease is an interim schedule, unless served within the last three years of a term, when it is a terminal schedule. A schedule served at or after the end of a lease is a final schedule of dilapidations.
An interim of terminal schedule specifies both the disrepair alleged by the landlord and the remedial works which the landlord requires the tenant to undertake. However, while a final schedule will also contain the alleged breaches of covenant and details of remedial work required, the tenant will have no option to actually carry the works out since its right of occupation will have ended with the lease. Therefore, the landlord’s remedy in respect of a final schedule is a claim for damages which will include not only the cost of remedial works, but also loss of rent, service charges, rates, professional fees and VAT for the period during which the property cannot be occupied as a result of the disrepair.