It’s typical for a lease to set out certain obligations for the tenant in terms of keeping the property in a good state of repair. When a tenant is in breach of these requirements – perhaps by neglecting maintenance or misusing the property in some way – the landlord may issue a Schedule of Dilapidations.
What does the Schedule of Dilapidations cover?
In simple terms, the Schedule of Dilapidations is a document stating that the tenant has failed or is failing to repair/maintain the building. It will usually set out items of disrepair and what needs to be fixed; however, some Schedules of Dilapidations are more detailed than others, depending on whether they’re issued during the lease (known as an Interim Schedule of Dilapidations) near the end of the lease (Terminal Schedule of Dilapidations) or after the lease has expired (Final Schedule of Dilapidations).
A proactive approach to maintenance issues
As a landlord, why would you go to the trouble of issuing a Schedule of Dilapidations? The benefits are clear:
- Maintenance issues can be flagged and addressed early, instead of letting problems get worse.
The Schedule of Dilapidations requires the tenant to take action, thereby providing a clear, legal way forward.
- It reduces the risk of financial loss and helps to protect the value of your investment – remember, the cost of issuing a Schedule of Dilapidations may be a fraction of the cost of repairs or lost rental income further down the line.
- If the tenant doesn’t fulfil their obligations, you have a paper trail to support a claim for damages.
It’s worth noting that the Schedule of Dilapidations benefits the tenant, too:
- They have an itemised list of what work is needed, and in the event of a dispute, the Schedule serves as a useful starting point for negotiations.
- The tenant can get on top of maintenance issues before they become major, expensive problems. No one wants a big, unexpected repair bill at the end of their tenancy!
At Perry Hill Chartered Surveyors, we work with both landlords and tenants to resolve dilapidations claims, and provide support with all aspects of dilapidations – from conducting inspections to issuing the paperwork. Let us help you navigate this potentially difficult process with confidence.