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Dilapidation Surveys Explained

Apr 21, 2023


Hello and welcome to today’s property surveying blog post in which we are going to be discussing Dilapidation Surveys in the hope to give you an overview of what they are and what to expect from a Dilapidation Survey.

What is a Dilapidation? 

Dilapidations is the term that is used to describe the claim that is made by the landlord at the end of a tenancy for a commercial property.  

The claim and process ensuring the premises is back to the condition that it was at the start or in some cases to a greater condition which will be outlined within the lease.

Some landlords may also attempt to gain back the loss of rent from the time that it takes to carry out the building work to bring the premises back up to scratch.

In order to make this claim they would contact a building surveyor to conduct a Schedule of Dilapidations survey.

What will the Dilapidations survey include?

This will initially see the surveyor review the lease to get an understanding of the differing clause that may be within it. in order to get it up to the condition that would be required to get it to the state that would be outlined in the Lease,

Once the surveyor has reviewed and gained an understanding of the relevant parts of the lease the next point of protocol is for the surveyor to go to site and conduct a Schedule of dilapidations report.

The site inspection ensures the surveyor can assess the current condition of different elements and services of the premises.

During the inspection, it will see the surveyor go room to room noting the current condition of the premises, making sure close attention is paid to any defects that are present. The Surveyor also takes hundreds if not thousands of photographs so there is clear evidence in place of the current condition of the property.

In ideal scenarios, there will be a pre lease Schedule of Condition in place, however this is rare and in the vast majority of cases we handle here at Stokemont tenants don’t tend to have these in place. This places tenants at a slight disadvantage as they don’t have a benchmark for the condition that they took occupancy of the property in.

Once property inspection has been completed, the next step would be to come up with the cost for the repair that would be needed to bring the premises up to the condition that is outlined within the lease.

If there is a surveyor for both the landlord and tenant it is at this stage that they would begin to discuss their initial costing with one another and come to an agreement in regards to the dilapidations, if there is a discrepancy between the two surveyors’ findings.

Generally, a Dilapidations survey will take place at the end of a tenancy but we at Stokemont would recommend getting the survey done prior to the lease ending as this would allow for more time to plan the repairs to the ending of the lease preventing greater cost to the tenant and a loss of rent for the landlord.

Can anything affect a Dilapidations claim?

There are certain circumstances that will affect the amount the landlord is capable of attempting to claim back through dilapidations.

This would be in cases where the landlord is already planning alterations that would render the repairs to the property obsolete, this would negate their claim for dilapidations. As outlined within the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 section 18.

Such as if the landlord had planned to demolish some internal walls to open up their property, then this would negate any dilapidations claim in regards to the subject walls as they would be no need to repair a wall that is being demolished.

Thank you for reading today’s blog post I hope this gave you a further understanding of dilapidations.

If you can any questions in regards to today’s blog post, or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont.  Please feel free to get in touch today by either giving us a call or popping us over an email and a member of our team of experienced surveyors will be happy to assist and advise.

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