When it comes to discussing and sorting out Dilapidations, it is important that tenants get professional advice at each step of the process so that they do not receive a sudden menacing bill regarding all the repairs needed at the end of their lease. In an ideal situation, dilapidations should be carried out as soon as a problem is brought to light and not at the end of lease where the problems could have worsened or multiplied.
We have outlined 5 scenarios that tenants who have been issued a Schedule of Dilapidations may have experienced, with advice within each of these scenarios that will help both tenants and a landlord reach an agreeable conclusion.
1. During a Lease:
Throughout your lease you will need to remain aware that you may be liable to pay the cost of future dilapidations and so must budget accordingly. If you carry out any cosmetic or structural alteration works to the premises, your landlord may request that you return the property to its original state before the end of a lease.
2. At the End of a Lease
You will need to be aware of the dilapidations work that is needed and to what extent repairs must be made. Often this will require you engaging with a Chartered Surveyor who can properly assess the property and the state of the dilapidations in order to provide you with an accurate report. Your landlord may serve you a notice to reinstate the original condition of the property if you have made any physical or cosmetic alterations to the property throughout your lease.
3. No Schedule of Dilapidations has been sent
You may have potential dilapidations obligations even if your landlord does not send you a Schedule of Dilapidations. There is nothing to worry about if this happens, as you can always request a review from a professional Chartered Surveyor. The Surveyor can then give you expert advice as to the potential cost of any of these dilapidations obligations.
4. After the End of the Lease
If you have received a Schedule of Dilapidations you should receive a Quantified Demand within 56 days following the end of a lease. You will need to send a response to both the Schedule of Dilapidations and the Quantified Demand within 56 days of receiving them and the response needs to have been endorsed by either you or your registered Surveyor.
5. Before even Signing a Lease
Make sure to thoroughly read your lease contract through, ensuring that you fully understand the terms of the lease and its dilapidations implications before you sign the final contract. If you are unsure of anything within the contract it is recommended to get a Chartered Surveyor to walk you through the terms of the contract and advise you accordingly.
In any situation it is important to remember that landlords should not make a profit from a schedule of dilapidations and that these charges should only be enough to cover repairs on the property and the cost of returning it to its previous state if any alterations have been made. You are not under any obligation to improve the property in any way from when you had first moved in! As always, if you are unsure, make sure to talk to a registered Chartered Surveyor who will be able to give you expert advice and assistance in Dilapidations reports and a number of other property related matters.