Whether a person is a tenant or a landlord and whether the property is residential or commercial, repairing obligations have to be considered, and in case of a breach of a repairing obligation a dilapidations claim needs to be made or defended. If dilapidations issues are addressed before they crop up, both time and money can be saved. In most of the cases they are not stand-alone issues. They might be relevant, and probably important too, with respect to service charges, lease renewals, and particularly for tenants in relation to the expiry of their leases, more so if they are exercising a conditional break clause.
Property litigation solicitors, building surveyors, valuers, and barristers are the professionals who normally deal with high-value dilapidations claims or disrepair claims. We are closely associated with the property bar and other property professionals. As with most disputes, we work to avoid court proceedings and there is a dilapidations protocol to assist in the resolution of these disputes. The first step is usually to prepare a schedule of dilapidations.
In residential or housing disrepair cases landlords and tenants often are on different pages when it comes to external and roof repairs. The tension between the two often escalates to housing disrepair claims.
It is always desirable to address a repairs issue before opponent addresses it. A large part of our dilapidations protocol involves strategic advice on such lines: advice about what’s possible and what’s not; what should be done; and when it should be done. If this doesn’t help to resolve the issue then at least it prepares the ground to engage in the dilapidations protocol and any litigation that might follow. If there is a need to resort to litigation we can provide assertive and strong representation up to and including trial.