What is the difference between an Interim Schedule of Dilapidations, Terminal Schedule of Dilapidations and Final Schedule of Dilapidations?

If a tenant mistreats a property or fails to maintain it according to the terms of their lease, the landlord can issue a Schedule of Dilapidations. This process provides a much-needed failsafe for landlords, helping to protect their investment and clarify a fair, appropriate way forward. And for tenants, it helps to avoid nasty surprises – like being presented with a huge repair bill at the end of the tenancy.

What are the different types of Schedule of Dilapidations?

There are, in fact, three different Schedules of Dilapidations: Interim Schedule of Dilapidations, Terminal Schedule of Dilapidations and Final Schedule of Dilapidations. Broadly speaking, they all fulfil the same goal of setting out the tenant’s obligations to bring the property back up to scratch. The difference is they’re used at different points in the lease period.

Let’s take a look at the three options and see how they’re used:

Interim Schedule of Dilapidations (often referred to as interim dilapidations)

This first option is issued during the course of the lease, for example, if a landlord is concerned that proper maintenance isn’t being carried out. The aim of the Interim Schedule is to remind the tenant of their obligations and clarify what’s expected – thereby helping to nip any neglect in the bud and protect the value of the property, while also protecting the tenant from higher repair costs further down the line.

Terminal Schedule of Dilapidations

The somewhat more ominous-sounding Terminal Schedule is used towards the end of the lease, usually within the last 18 months to three years of the lease. This schedule of condition is often more detailed than the Interim Schedule, listing items of disrepair that need to be fixed before the end of the tenancy.

Final Schedule of Dilapidations

The Final Schedule is issued after the lease has expired, in the event that required repairs haven’t been carried out. Similar to the Terminal Schedule, this one will generally set out in detail what works are needed, but, as the lease has already expired by this point, the Final Schedule may also include the cost of lost rent while the repairs are being carried out.

Professional Support from Leading Chartered Surveyors

Managing dilapidations while maintaining a good tenant–landlord relationship can be especially tricky, so professional support is a must. Perry Hill’s team of chartered surveyors guides both landlords and tenants through the schedule of dilapidations process – from carrying out inspections and estimating costs, to issuing paperwork and giving trusted advice.

Why would a landlord issue a Schedule of Dilapidations?

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.

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