Dilapidations costs can be significant for occupiers of commercial property, so it is important to seek professional dilapidations advice if you receive a claim from your landlord.

To reduce potential dilapidations costs to your business, it is important to consider your options and potential alternatives as early on in the process as possible.

If the claim is associated with a lease break, it can be complex to manage, particularly if the break is conditional on completing certain obligations before the break date. Not dealing with these obligations in the right way can cause the break to fail, which would mean that the lease would continue until the original lease end or next break. If you have already entered into another lease agreement on another building, this could have significant financial implications, so seeking advice early on is essential.

If you intend to exit the property and have time, normally you would have two options – either completing the works before the end of the lease, or simply vacating the building and dealing with the landlord’s claim.

If you choose to complete the required works to the premises, it means you can control the procurement of these and the associated costs. However, this might mean you have to leave the premises early to allow the works to go ahead, and how do you ensure that the works procured will satisfy the lease obligations?

Negotiating the settlement of your landlord’s claim would enable you to stay in the building for longer, however, it is important to scrutinise the detail as it could also include other heads of claim for the length of time the works are likely to take.

Our advisers can review your landlord’s claim in detail, in the context of the exact property, and precise requirements of the lease, to potentially reduce the claim.

We have extensive experience in advising occupiers of commercial property in relation to their dilapidations liabilities at all stages of the lease lifecycle.

Our detailed understanding of the issues surrounding dilapidations – including the statutory protection provided by Section 18(1) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 – enable us to mitigate your costs.