Dealing with a Dilapidations Claim

Where a Schedule of Condition was not

prepared originally


If you would like a chartered building surveyor or a building engineer to phone you back and discuss any dilapidations, dilaps claims, negotiations, schedules of condition, break clauses, scots schedules, surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports/specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please do not hesitate to phone us on 0800 298 5424.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Where the business is going well and you have decided to expand and move into a new business premises, or business is not doing well and you have decided to call it a day, or even if you have got to the age to retire, when you move out of your leased property the only other thing that is certain, other than death and taxes, is that a Dilapidations Notice will be served upon you, often known as a Terminal Dilapidations Schedule. To many business owners this will come as a surprise, particularly if they have had a good relationship with the landlords over the years. In fact, we would go as far as to say that even with a good relationship with the landlord things will change a great deal once you have decided to leave the property as the landlord puts on his investor hat and thinks I now need to re-rent the business premises and to do that I need to have the property in as good a condition as possible to make it very rentable.


What is a dilapidations claim?

In its simplest form a dilapidations claim is a list of building work that is required to be carried out to bring the property back up to the standard within the lease. Note that we say within the lease and not the condition the property was in when you moved in. We have in the past come across some business owners who are horrified at this proposition who argue that when they moved into the property it was in a very poor condition and that the business owner, with the alterations and amendments, has made the property far better than it was originally. Nevertheless, much to their shock, a Dilapidations Notice is served. We would emphasise this because the Dilapidations Noticed is making a claim against what the property should look like compared to the lease.


What else can the surveyor do?

If the business owner was to consider the surveyors point of view, who is appointed to look at the property having had no past knowledge of what the business premises look like, they carry out the schedule as per the conditions set out within the lease. Leases today are commonly full repairing and insuring leases, which means exactly that, that you have the full responsibility for the repair and the insurance of the property. In addition to the repair responsibility, there is normally a redecoration covenant, which means there is a requirement within the lease to redecorate the property periodically and normally at the termination of the lease.

Usually there is also a reinstatement covenant and this is a requirement to reinstate the premises, as they were when you moved in. Many business owners will be somewhat surprised that the landlord requires them to undo many of the improvements that they have made, as these improvements will assume and assure the landlord, or the landlord's surveyor, will add value to the rental. This is normally only in the eye of the beholder and even with negotiation, in our experience, most landlords require the business premises to be returned back to how it was at the start of the lease.

We have over the years seen some rather unusual requests to reinstate the property to its originally condition. One of the most common ones that occurs is the removal of a mezzanine floor. This is a floor that is added where there is suitable roof space and is often the first stage of expansion of a company, used as a storage area or even for office space (industrial units). Most business owners are very surprised when it is asked that this be removed. We have also wondered why and we can only that it is because the landlord does not wish to set a precedent, or even have the time to consider each case on its merits and individually.


Will a good relationship with the landlord help me with the dilapidations claim?

We would comment that the answer is yes, but Yes, a good relationship will help you with the dilapidations claim, as it is always best to get on with your landlord. We have added the but because it is very important to remember that your whole relationship with the landlord changes once you stop renting from them. If you look at their business they are now no longer gaining an income from you and will be looking to the future where they need to gain a rental income from the business premises. They will therefore naturally want the premises back in as good a condition as legally they are allowed to have and this is the position the dilapidations claim is trying to put them in. Whether you have had a good relationship or not they have to look out for their future business interests.


I have a bad relationship with my landlord will this affect my dilapidations claim?

Again we would answer yes, but and again we would say it is good policy to always get on well with your landlord, but in this case the lease does work in your favour as it sets out a standard by which properties should be maintained to and it is not subject to how well or not that you get on with the landlord.


The landlord won't deal with me on the dilapidations claim, he refers me to his dilapidations surveyor

This is very common with landlords, particularly the larger landlords, as they do not have the time, or the skill and knowledge, to be involved in the dilapidations claims process. We would, however, recommend that you write to your landlord to clarify exactly what authority the surveyors have. This can range from an in-house surveyor having the authority to agree a dilapidations claim, usually up to a certain financial limit, to a third party dilapidations surveyor, who will have to report back and take the opinion of the landlord/property owner. We would add that this arms length transaction can work very well as the landlord's surveyor doesn't have the emotional involvement that you may have with the property and the issues.

What will happen if I don't carry out the dilapidations work?

Several things could happen and one extreme is that you could be taken to court and damages won for the non-performance of the contract, or in a best case scenario, the landlord could decide that it is easier to rent the property and therefore he will rent the property. However, be aware that he can also make a dilapidations claim against you.


What if I only do part of the dilapidations work?

Again, this could result in a court hearing, as you breached the contract, but equally you could argue that you have carried out works that make the property rentable and that it won't affect what is known as the diminution in value.


What is diminution in value?

This is the affect on value that not carrying out the works will have and caps the limitation of liability you have with regard to the property.


Should I just do all the dilapidations works?

Whilst dilapidations is meant to be an interpretation of the work you are required to carry out in accordance with the lease it is only an opinion and as such the opinion can be wrong or errors can be made. We feel it is only a very unwise person that would carry out all the dilapidations work as there is nearly always room to negotiate and discuss items.


Landlords make a percentage of payments

This is more common than you think. Where the landlord agrees that, for example, part of the redecoration is your responsibility, but that the premises would look better if all walls were redecorated, they will then look at ways to make contributions towards this cost. It can be as simple as off-setting against the other building works that are required in the dilapidations, or as difficult as trying to agree a suitable price for it.

Back to our main menu on Dilapidations

Schedules of Condition

Schedules of Condition What should I Expect?

Please contact us for help and advice with regard to dilapidations, dilaps claims, negotiations, disputes, schedules of condition, break clauses, scots schedules , surveys, building surveys, structural reports/engineers reports/specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters on 0800 298 5424 and a chartered surveyor will ring you back to discuss this further. Please note we are independent chartered surveyors.

If you would like Dilaps Help then please visit our

website and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax