Landlord's Guide to Dilapidations
Property management can be a headache and a legal minefield
This article gives a brief explanation with regard to how landlord's can protect themselves against rental and property problems and also advise how Dilapidations work. Do remember that Dilapidations is very specific to your property and lease scenario as well as is a moving target to some extent. If you would like a friendly chat please contact us on free phone 0800 298 5424
Free phone 0800 298 5424
Bad tenants what are the options for a landlord?
Landlords can sometimes be at the wrong end of a bad tenant with problems. We would add with our findings the vast majority of tenants tend to be good to deal with however if you do get rogue tenants which can range from tenants not paying the rent to a disregard of lease terms (covenants) it can leave you with a very large bill if you are not careful - basic re-painting can be costly.
How can landlord's protect themselves?
The requirements/covenants within the lease help to protect the landlord not only during the term of the lease but also to recover costs after the lease which is known as Dilaps or Dilapidations to give the full term and can still leave you with a building that is un-rentable. You do need to know what you are doing with regard to Dilapidations as you can also lose on the Dilapidations side of things.
Typical damage that we have seen over the years
First of all we would say that there is no typical damage as damage varies.
In industrial buildings and warehouses problems
In industrial buildings and warehouses damage tends to relate to lack of maintenance to the roofs, asbestos material and possibly dampness and also tenants leaving without getting the appropriate electrical certificates and gas certificates as well as unauthorised alterations.
Shops and retail with Dilapidations problems
Some of the damage is very similar to those in shops and offices with shops, in our experience, tending to have very high standards front of house but have poor standards to the back of house which is where the problems are from a landlord's point of view to bring the property to a rentable condition.
Retail in a parade of shops
Offices and Dilapidations problems
Offices tend to be reasonable internally and have problems with work not being carried out particularly at high level and awkward areas.
Blocks of Flats
Please see our other articles with regard to Flats as these are of a special nature and are dealt with separately.
Schedule of Conditions for Landlords with flats to help you sort out property problems
Any of these problems and hundreds of other problems can leave the landlord with a large bill to get the property back to a rentable condition not to mention the time that it takes to carry out the work to prepare specifications and tender the work and possibly even drawings. Also dependent upon market conditions you may be repairing a building and spending money for it not to be able to be rented. We have come across over the years buildings that have been empty for many years and recently we looked at a building that had been empty for seven years and are such that other Surveyors may have come across similar situations. You can see from the landlord's prospective that years of not getting rent and maintaining an empty building does not make sense.
Understanding your lease is the key
Whilst we appreciate that many landlords have a reasonable understanding of their lease this is not the same as the solicitors understanding. Also we would add that it is not the same as the Surveyors understanding. A Surveyor who has had the experience of Dilapidations and claims will be able to give a common sense point of view with regard to where the tipping point is and also the amount of time and money that can be spent with regard to a Dilapidations claim.
Ways Surveyors can help Landlords
Pre lease surveys and how to protect landlords
Pre lease Surveyors can prepare a Schedule of Condition which could be for your internal use or for agreement with the prospective tenant. From a landlord's prospective the best type of Schedules of Condition are as detailed as possible. We believe it is always best that you prepare a Schedule of Condition which is then appended to the lease as a true and accurate record of the property.
Do landlord's need to manage property during the term of the lease?
Surveyors can help police and manage the rental during the course of the lease and help with the tenant getting to know their responsibilities and carrying out the work that a Full Repairing and Insuring lease requires if this is their lease type.
Landlord's should prepare for the end of a lease
Coming to the end of a lease the Surveyor can serve an Interim Dilapidations notice to advise the client and give advice as necessary.
Lease end or Yield Up clause landlord should look out for
At the end of a lease a Terminal or Final Dilapidations can be served appropriately costed to show the monetary settlement before negotiation of the Dilapidations can take place to the Dilapidations Protocol standards.
If this article is making you think you need a Surveyor to help you with Dilapidations please call us on 0800 298 5424
Please see our surveying articles on:
Dilapidations claim by the landlord
A to Z of Dilapidations
Dilapidations in a nutshell for landlords and tenants
The Dilapidations Protocol and the RICS Dilapidations Guidance Notes
It should be remembered that the Dilapidations process is a semi-legal process and as such Surveyors will follow the Dilapidations Protocol. If the Surveyor is a Chartered Surveyor they will also be following the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Guidance Notes with regard to Dilapidations. There are various time perimeters within the Protocol as well as ways of working.
For example a Dilapidations claim should be served 56 days after termination of the lease and the response being within 56 days of receiving the Dilapidations claim.
Free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424 about Dilapidations and property management issues. We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We also find that Specific Defect Reports can be use where there is one problem or issue that needs resolving between the landlord and tenant.
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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