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As you may know, dilapidations is a term used to refer to damages or defects to a property which a tenant is generally legally obliged to put right at the end of their lease. Depending on the terms of the lease, where dilapidations do occur, it is likely that the tenant has breached various agreements, the most obvious being the repairing covenant.
If applicable the landlord may be able to take action to remedy breaches and dilapidations, dependent on the terms of the lease and whether the lease has come to an end. Options made to the tenant can include rectifying the damages themselves, or paying a fee to the landlord, who will make the repairs and re-charge the tenant the full amount. However, once the term of the lease has come to an end, the options are restricted to paying damage fees only.
Furthermore, in some cases, where the tenant is unable to rectify the damages or cover the fees involved, the landlord may be able to pursue guarantors instead, as they may also be liable for the breaches.
Dilapidations could also further impact the ability for a tenant to assign or under let a lease. If consent is required by the landlord to do so, then they may reasonably withhold consent where there are breaches to the contract, until such have been rectified.
Despite the ability to seek remedy for damages during the term of a lease, it is typically the case that the issues do not come to light until the end of a lease, when the tenant is required to leave the property in the same state as it was before they entered. Unfortunately, however, this is not often the case and landlords must undertake necessary works to carry out remedial work. In some instances, tenants may further dispute the damages claimed or dispute any breaches of their contract, which can leave landlords facing the sole burden of the costs. Due to these large costs involved, it is important for all parties involved to have any potential dilapidations at the forefront of their mind before entering the lease.
At Ramsdens, our specialist Litigation team regularly advise landlords and tenants on all aspects of commercial property leases, including their rights and obligations in respect of covenants and dilapidations. Whatever the nature of your dispute call Ramsdens Solicitors for expert advice. Get in touch with us by calling 01484 821 500, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our commercial dispute solicitors.