How to Avoid a Big Dilapidations Bill
At the start of a commercial tenancy, the new occupant of the premises is bound to have a lot on their mind. They’ll be making plans for their new leased business premises, production line or storage facility. Perhaps they’ll be preparing for all the new clients they’ll impress with their snazzy new offices. And as they’ll have 101 things on their mind, it’s highly unlikely they will be thinking about the end of their lease period.
Of course, in your line of work, you’ll have seen it all before. And unlike those starry-eyed tenants, you’ll be only too well aware of the cost ramifications heading their way in the form of end-of-tenancy dilapidations. So, you’re particularly well placed to advise them about the potential costs they could be facing further down the line.
More than just a lick of paint
Left to their own devices, most commercial tenants tend to assume that their responsibilities to the landlord are mainly a repaint and a repair of any obvious damage. It’s certainly a reasonable assumption to make. But unlike your clients, you have the benefit of knowledge to see potential pitfalls with obscure dilapidations clauses in tenancy agreements!
Things are always so much easier when surveyors are brought in before the start of the lease. This gives you plenty of time to assess the property’s condition before the tenant moves in. You might suggest a Schedule of Condition as a good starting point, particularly where there’s already a lot of work that needs to be attended to at the property.
It’s a little trickier when you’re consulted towards the end of the lease, as you’ll be working with a contract already in place. But you can still reassure your clients that they won’t necessarily be landed with a hefty dilapidations bill at the end of the tenancy. By assessing the current condition of the premises, and by studying the full terms of the lease, you may be able to advise them of ways to minimise their financial responsibilities.
Keeping repair costs down
You might encourage your client to organise some repairs before the end of the lease. This could be cheaper than negotiating with the landlord for the repair work to be carried out. Explain that regular maintenance checks will identify problems before they become critical, which also minimises repair costs.
Remind your clients not to overlook the roof of their building, as problems tend to occur out of sight with the potential to cause huge amounts of damage before they’re spotted. Taking a proactive approach can save greater expense further down the line. Our specialist roof coating products can help to prevent water damage, including protection against cut-edge corrosion. Our roof products are BBA Approved and protect against weather extremes, high impact and dirt resistance.
When checking a property for dilapidations, always ensure your clients are advised in advance of the potential cost of repairs. Remind them that timely maintenance is always the best route to avoid any issues arising between landlords and tenants.
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