Repairs and dilapidations
Repair and decorate
The vast majority of commercial leases put the obligation to repair and decorate premises firmly on a tenant, both during occupation and when the lease expires.
Although many leases allow for the landlord to undertake interim dilapidation inspections, there is often a fairly relaxed approach during the term of the lease and the tenant is effectively trusted to maintain the property and hand it back in good condition.
It is a position that can backfire for both parties however if not properly addressed if the repair and decoration obligations are not complied with throughout the term of the lease, potentially leaving the tenant with a large claim from the landlord at the end of the lease or a landlord with a tenant who cannot meet its obligations to hand the property back in compliance with the terms of the lease.
We can offer advice when the lease is granted to minimise the risk and amount of such claims for a tenant and also advise on any claims at the end of a lease, both for landlords and tenants.
Our property litigation team are experienced in advising businesses when service charge or dilapidation disputes do arise and can recommend the best route of action to take, whether through mediation, arbitration or the courts.
Sometimes the only option of resolving a commercial property dispute is through court. It can be expensive but the court has a wider jurisdiction and deals with dilapidations and lease renewals.
It can also award costs and has a specialist section at the Technology and Construction Court that increasingly deals with dilapidation disputes.