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Dilapidations – Key Issues to Consider at the end of a Commercial Lease Term
Current market conditions are tending against lease renewals, meaning that issues of dilapidations at the end of a lease are increasingly contentious. The law relating to dilapidations at the end of a commercial lease term are highly complex, and require very case-specific and detailed advice, but some important key principles can be applied to most general cases, including:
1. When considering the standard of repair required, the court will have regard not only to the length of the lease in question, but also to the age, condition and nature of the property at the time of the letting;
2. Repairs should be adequate to make the premises fit for occupation by a reasonably minded tenant of the class likely to take out a lease of such premises. Obviously this is superseded by any applicable current Regulations; and
3. Replacement is only justified if repair is not reasonable or sensible – or if required by current applicable Regulations.
On a practical level, those involved in a dilapidations dispute should ensure that all parties are following the Dilapidations Protocol, clearly laying out their issues and arguments to all parties at an early stage and, where appropriate, exercising the opportunity to use a single joint expert to save time and costs.
For further advice on Commercial Leasehold or property issues, please contact either Perry Gear at our Highstone House office, or Christopher Johnson at our Cockfosters Office.