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Home » Valuation & Commercial » Full Repairing and Insuring Lease (FRI) Pitfalls

Full Repairing and Insuring Lease (FRI) Pitfalls

Aug 4, 2022


In today’s property surveying blogpost topic here at Stokemont we are going to be looking at property valuation. Property valuation is at the heart of the vast majority of the services our valuers undertake here at Stokemont.

A lot of landlords will insist that you take a full repairing and insuring lease. This is called an FRI lease, and it means that you, as the tenant, are responsible for the costs of repairing and insuring the property.

In the majority of cases, this seems like a fairly reasonable request. However, the majority of tenants do not realise that the maintenance obligations they are agreeing to could require them to make structural improvements to the property at the end of the lease, even if said areas were already poorly maintained at the start.

Ultimately, this is a sneaky little action designed to make you responsible for repairs and maintenance, even in situations that are traditionally the responsibility of the landlord. Therefore, you should take certain steps in order to make sure that you are not caught up in a lease that is going to cost you large amounts of money.

What to Do

Ultimately, there are a few things that you should do beforehand to make sure that you can confidently sign a lease.

Undertake a Property Survey

Even in the event that the property appears structurally sound, it is a sensible idea to do an independent survey. By asking a professional to make an unbiased assessment of the property, you will highlight any potential areas that you could be liable for. The survey can be a powerful weapon for negotiating your lease, as it proves that your landlord might be attempting to deceive you

Schedule of Condition

In some cases, you are going to want what is called a schedule of condition report. Basically, this is a written and photographic record of the property at a certain point in time, highlighting the state of repairs.

This will showcase any imperfections or defects that may be in the property at the beginning. This means that you have a photographic record of how things were before you moved in, so you can’t be held liable for repairing them at the end of the lease.

Defining the Property

During a lease negotiation, it’s important to make sure that you properly define certain terms. For example, what is meant by the structure of the property? Does it include the roof? The roof is often a deeply controversial part of the lease, especially in older buildings.

Taking the time to define the building properly means that you are not being caught out by any tricks in the lease.

Get Some Repairs Out of the Lease

In a lot of situations, it is important to make sure that you negotiate with the landlord to make sure that there are certain parts of the maintenance that aren’t included.

You’ll want to make sure that obvious signs of issue are kept out of the lease because they’re not your responsibility. A landlord might try to push this task onto you, but you need to stand your ground.

Before you make a commitment to any lease, you need to make sure that you seek expert advice for all of the rights, liabilities and obligations that you’ll have.

A firm understanding of how your lease works is vital for getting the best results, and it is often heavily recommended that you consult with a professional to help you get the best deal.

If you would like to discuss your property valuation requirements with our team of RICS Chartered Surveyors and RICS Registered Valuers here at Stokemont, give us a call today and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.

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