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Minimizing Dilapidations Settlements in the UK

Whether a tenant or landlord - when it comes to dilapidations, everyone wants the best solution.

Dilapidations settlements

Dilapidations settlements, also known as disrepair claims, occur when a tenant vacates a commercial property and the landlord claims that the tenant has not properly maintained the property during the tenancy. These claims can be costly for the tenant. The landlord may seek reimbursement for the cost of repairing any damage or bringing the property back to its original condition.

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Steps to Saving Money in Disrepair Claims

However, there are steps that tenants can take to minimize the risk of dilapidations settlements and reduce the potential cost of these claims. Here are some tips for minimising dilapidations settlements in the UK:

  1. Understand your obligations under the lease: Before entering into a commercial lease, make sure you fully understand your obligations as a tenant with regard to maintaining the property. This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or disputes with the landlord down the line.

  2. Keep a record of the property’s condition: When you move into a commercial property, it’s a good idea to take photos or videos of the property’s condition and keep them on file. These will provide the basis of tenants’ counter to the Landlord’s Schedule of Condition. This will provide evidence of the property’s condition at the start of the tenancy and can be used to defend against any dilapidations claims made by the landlord.

  3. Keep the property in good repair: As a tenant, it’s your responsibility to keep the property in good repair and maintain it to the same standard as when you first moved in. This includes carrying out necessary repairs and maintenance in a timely manner.

  4. Communicate with the landlord: If you notice any issues with the property that need to be addressed, it’s important to communicate with the landlord as soon as possible. This will show that you are taking your responsibilities seriously and may prevent the issue from worsening over time.

  5. Consider taking out insurance: It’s a good idea for tenants to consider taking out insurance to cover the cost of any dilapidations claims. This can provide peace of mind and financial protection in the event that a claim is made against you.

Pre-emptive Tips to Minimize Settlements

By following these tips, tenants can minimize the risk of dilapidations settlements and reduce the potential cost of these claims. It’s important to be proactive and take steps to maintain the property in good condition throughout the tenancy to avoid any disputes with the landlord when the tenancy comes to an end.

Guide to Dilapidations: Returning properties to their agreed condition and meeting legal obligations

Is the end of your lease due soon? Have you been issued with a dilapidations schedule? – understanding it can be a daunting task. Download our Free Guide to Dilapidations and you can learn how we can help return your property to its agreed condition and meet legal obligations
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Actions to take when the Schedule Arrives

When you receive a schedule of dilapidations (also known as a disrepair claim), it’s important to carefully review the document and assess the validity of the claims being made by the landlord. Here are some steps to take when you receive a schedule of dilapidations:

  1. Review the schedule carefully: The schedule should outline the specific repairs or maintenance work that the landlord is claiming is necessary. Review the list carefully to ensure that you fully understand what is being claimed and why.

  2. Assess the validity of the claims: Determine whether the repairs or maintenance work being claimed are actually your responsibility as a tenant under the terms of the lease. If you believe that the claims are not valid, or that the work is not necessary, it’s important to provide evidence to support your position.

  3. Check your documents: Refer back to your original Schedule of Condition documents created at the beginning of your lease.
  4. Consider seeking expert advice: If you are unsure about your obligations or the validity of the claims being made by the landlord, it may be helpful to seek advice. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and property experts like RFM Group can help advise you on the best course of action.

  5. Respond to the schedule: Once you have reviewed the schedule and assessed the validity of the claims, it’s important to respond to the landlord in a timely manner. This may involve negotiating with the landlord to try to reach an agreement or disputing the claims if you believe they are not justified.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with the landlord, it may be necessary to seek legal remedies, such as going to court, to resolve the matter. It’s important to carefully consider your options and seek legal advice as needed to protect your interests.

On average RFM Group are able to save clients 40-60% off their original landlords’ schedule of dilapidations.

Speak to the Property Experts...

Whether you need advice on a new project or have an existing property or portfolio - We're always happy to help. Please call or 08000 277 262 email proactive@rfm-group.com

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