Dilaps Review Large claim on a small industrial unit

Large dilaps claim on a small industrial unit

Unfortunately today dilaps claims are as certain as death and taxes.  Read more about how we helped a leaseholder of an industrial unit save a large sum on his dilaps claim

Our dilaps client, a company Director with offices in a small industrial unit in Hertfordshire, originally contacted us and advised he had received a schedule of dilapidations from the landlord of the property they had been leasing and wanted some dilaps help. He advised their lease had run out approximately eighteen months previously and they had vacated the property. The landlord had made no attempt to re-negotiate the lease although he had offered them the freehold for the premises for a six-figure sum.

Our client advised the landlord’s dilapidations surveyor was chasing to start a consultation and debate. The property in question was a semi-detached purpose built office on one level split into different rooms, approximately 1373 sq. foot.

We advised our client we would be more than happy to help with this dilaps case and notified our specialist dilapidations surveyor. Our dilapidations surveyor would after looking at the relevant documents and visiting the property produce a strategic dilapidations report advising of the best and most cost effective way forward. We advised that any negotiations our client required our dilapidations surveyor to carry out with the landlord and/or the landlord’s dilapidations surveyor would be at an extra cost. Our client was happy with this.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate – our dilaps surveyors have your best interests at heart

The negotiation process in a dilaps claim is extremely important. Our dilaps surveyors have many years of experience with dilaps claims and during the negotiation process save our clients tens of thousands of pounds and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Dilaps surveys by dilaps specialist surveyors

We arranged a date and time for the survey of the property by our dilapidations surveyor and we asked for the landlord’s details to obtain access. We called the landlord to check he was ok with our dilapidations surveyor entering the property, as it is unusual for the leaseholder to still be able to obtain access after the end of the lease. The landlord advised he was happy with us to visit.

Our client sent us the relevant documents, which included the schedule of dilapidations and their response document as well as the letter from the landlord’s solicitor.

The client also advised that the premises was currently under offer and asked if this made a different to the discussion.

Strategic Dilapidations Report

Our dilaps surveyor inspected the building carrying out a Strategic Dilapidations Report on behalf of our client to inspect the property after reading a copy of the lease and other supporting documentation such as solicitors letters, emails and schedule of works etc.

No Schedule of Condition

Our dilapidations surveyor established that there was not a Schedule of Condition appended legally to the lease. We always recommend that a Schedule of Condition is legally appended to a lease as when the lease comes to an end or if the leaseholder wishes to end the lease earlier than the lease end then a Schedule of Condition is an extremely helpful document which enables both the leaseholder and the landlord to understand repairs, redecoration and building works relating to the property which need to be addressed prior to termination of the lease.

Dilapidations debate and negotiation

Dilapidations is always open to debate and negotiation and our dilaps surveyor quickly established three key points:-

  1. End use of the property
  2. Asbestos roof
  3. Option of a Full and Final Settlement

Dilapidations tactics

From our many, many years as experienced, specialist dilaps surveyors we advised our client that from the property owner’s/Landlord’s point of view most property owners believe they get the best settlement from a monetary only settlement, which they will instigate after the lease has ended. There is no legal requirement for the Landlord to provide a Dilapidations Schedule before the Lease ends; it is considered good practice under the Dilapidations Protocol that they serve this within 56 days, which we understand that they have done in this case.

We advised our dilapidations claim client that some Landlords can use Rolls Royce pricing with any building issues and of course they can include loss for other elements as well.

Monetary solution to a dilaps claim

As our client had left the property and the landlord had presented a Schedule of Dilapidations claim the best way forward was for our dilaps surveyors to negotiate, negotiate and negotiate again against this claim. The Schedule of Dilapidations prices were, in our opinion, Rolls Royce prices and by gathering estimates and tenders from at least three companies/workmen these can be used to present a counterclaim and thereby assist with the negotiation process.

Dilaps claims can be very expensive

During the dilapidations claim process the gathering of information and time this takes can be very costly to our client who was the tenant. Swift action is best in gathering quotations and an understanding that our client would be liable to pay the professional costs of both his side and the landlord’s side plus additional costs of rents and insurances etc.

Full and Final Settlement – Calderbank Settlement

A Full and Final Settlement offer we advised would be the best scenario and after the negotiation process a settlement figure was reached which was tens of thousands of pounds lower that the original dilapidations claim amount the landlord had submitted. This successfully drew the dilapidations claim to a swift and amicable end with our client delighted how much we had helped him save money on his dilaps claim.

Happy dilaps client

Our dilaps client advised he was extremely happy with our excellent dilaps service and commented that everybody he dealt with was always very friendly, efficient and he had regular contact with the dilaps surveyor throughout.