We act for the following orgsanisations:
Areas of expertise include the following:
- Building Societies
- Insurances Companies
- Loss Adjusters
- Local Authorities
- Structural Reports
- Full Building Surveys
- Insurance assessments which include:
- Project Management
- Independent Expert Reports
- Boundary Disputes
- Party Wall Matters
- Schedules of Condition
- these are often necessary prior to taking out a lease.
- Schedules of Dilapidation
- these are often necessary at the termination of a lease.
Schedules of dilapidation and condition
Most people when buying a house would insist on having a survey done before signing the contract - but how many businessmen would think to have a survey carried out on a building on which they were proposing to take a lease? From our experience the answer is not as many as there should be. The cost implications however to the tenant at the end of the lease could be quite catastrophic.
There are basically two types of surverys on leased properties:
Schedule of Condition: A schedule carried out by a surveyor on behalf of the prospective tenant indicating that the building will not be put into any better state of repair than is evidenced by the schedule at the commencement of the lease.
Schedule of Dilapidation: A schedule drawn up by a surveyor acting for the landlord at the end of the lease indicating what work is required to comply with the repairing covenants contained within the lease.
All too often businesses taking on a lease feel that a survey of the building is not necessary and is an expense which could be saved. The cost implications however are never fully recognised until several years later when the landlord suddenly lets loose his surveyor on the building. Only then does the tenant wish he'd taken further advice from the start.
Landlords are usually reluctant to agree that a Schedule of Condition should be atatched to a new lease. They would much prefer that a tenant was responsible for repairs for obvious reasons.
Such a schedule will record, not only in words, but more importantly in photographs, the state of the building at the commencement date of the lease.
At the end of the lease the respective landlord's and tenant's surveyors will be able to refer to the schedule when settling a claim for dilapidations. How often have we heard the argument from both sides when no schedule was available, that the property was in a much worse or much better repair depending on whose viewpoint you are taking at that time. Landlords change for various reasons such as when a building is sold as an investment, or may have died, and tenants can change during the course of a lease where there may have been an assignment. This is when it becomes even more important to have photographic evidence as photographs and descriptive words do not change so both sides should not be under any illusions as to what is required.
Irrespective of whether a Schedule of Dilapidation is prepared or not it is important in the interests of good estate management to have regular inspections carried out by a surveyor of the property, especially one let on a long lease.
All too often tenants are not aware when taking on full repairing liabilities that they are required to put the building into repair as well as keeping it well maintained. Failure to do so could result in substantial works being required and to be done at his expense. A survey prior to entering into a lease would give the tenant a good idea of what liabilities he may be letting himself in for.