Archive for March, 2011

Get Pre-Lease advice to avoid the Dilapidations Trap

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Having been caught-out by a dilapidations claim on a previous short let a client turned to me for Pre-Lease Advice on his latest property deal.

A rather run-down unit was the subject of his attention; the previous tenant had ‘gone bust’ leaving it full of junk and in right state.

Though not in the best part of town, the location suited him.

Before surveying the unit I read the proposed lease.  It was clear that the terms on offer were inappropriate; they would have suited a long lease on a property in Mayfair or Knightsbridge.

This was a one year lease on ‘Full Repairing’ terms.  On that basis the dilapidations claim at the end of the year could amount to £20k or more; nearly three times the rent!

When the Landlord showed me the unit he agreed that the terms were unreasonable for such a poor property.  He said his lawyer had advised him to go with it and try and catch the other side out.

It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter what you might agree with the Landlord it’s so important to check the draft lease before you agree to anything.   Everything you agree needs to be written down and be part of the lease.

We got terms changed, of course, but it just goes to show that you can’t trust anyone!

So get advice from a surveyor who knows the rules of the game to avoid being caught in the dilapidations trap.