Dilapidations Quiz - For Trainee Surveyors or Qualified Surveyors

For those Chartered Surveyors that specialise in dilapidations the following should be relatively straightforward. They are questions on dilapidations and you may even have dealt with such cases. For student surveyors that are currently looking at specialising in ‘dilapidations' the questions will make interesting discussion topics. For the non-specialist dilapidations surveyor they will hopefully get you thinking and possibly even going on some training courses on dilapidations.

1. Tenant Served a Dilapidations Notice regarding the Floor

Your client, the present tenant, has leased a property for three years and has now come to the end of the tenancy agreement. They have had a Dilapidations Notice served upon them that advises that they are in breach of the lease as the floor surface has broken up.

Your client advises that the floor was like this when he took the lease and the damage was caused by the previous car repair company and not his computer company.

The landlord surveyor is quite specific in his remedy for the breach of the lease requiring that the floor surface be made good and an epoxy floor covering be added as the finish.

No Schedule of Condition was prepared when the tenant took the property.

How would you advise your client?

2. Your Client, the Tenant, is using the Break Clause; how much re- decoration is required?

Your client has occupied a property for seven years of the ten year lease and is leaving the premises using a break clause within the lease. The landlord has served a Dilapidations Notice and has identified that the blockwork walls, which are lightly marked with paint and various fixing holes, need to be made good and redecorated.

Your client, the tenant, advises that the fixing holes have been caused by him from his shelving and is happy to make good the fixing holes, but he is unhappy to paint the blockwork walls as they are not presently painted and are only lightly marked with paint, which was caused by the previous company.

No Schedule of Condition was prepared when the tenant took the property.

How would you advise your client?

3. Your Client, the Tenant, Obtained a License But…

Your client has expanded over the years and taken the adjoining unit. He obtained a license to form a hole in the party wall to give access to the neighbouring unit and had all the appropriate drawings carried out and structural calculations and installed a lintel to form the opening in the wall.

The landlord's surveyor has required the wall to be made good with the reinstatement of the blockwork.

Would you:

  • carry out the work because you have a license for it?
  • carry out the work by blocking up the wall and leaving the lintel in place?
  • remove the lintel and block up the wall?

4. Dilapidations Notice – Standard of Repair

Your clients lease is coming to an end after three years and the landlord has served a Dilapidations Notice on your client. One of the items identifies an area of brickwork to the rear of the property which is a bricked up window and advises that the brickwork does not match and it needs to be removed and reinstated in a matching brickwork.

Your client, the tenant, advises that this work was carried out by the previous owner and in any case it is to the back of a warehouse and no one will see it.

How would you advise your client then tenant?

No Schedule of Condition was carried out when the tenant / business owner took on the premises.

5. No License for Alterations Issued, only a Verbal Agreement

Your client, the tenant, has an office and a warehouse and the tenancy agreement has come to an end after five years. During that time your client's business expanded and he built more offices within the warehouse. He did not gain formal approval for the additional offices (as they were only a few bits of studwork and ply board) but he did get the verbal agreement of the landlord's agent.

The landlord has had a Dilapidations Notice served on the tenant where it advises that all of the warehouse should be painted, although at present the only area of painted blockwork is where the office is / was, as the tenant has now removed it and moved to new premises.

How would you advise your client the tenant?

6. Dilapidations Notice Identifies Unseen Items?

Your client, the tenant, has come to the end of a ten year lease and a Dilapidations Notice has been served upon them. There is no Schedule of Condition. The landlord has served his Dilapidations Notice, part of which requires your surveyor to inspect the roof with the landlord's surveyor to check the condition of the asbestos roof covering.

How would you advise your tenant / client?

7. Licence or a Lease?

The business owner has several units in a business park, all but one of which was taken on a lease. One, however, was due to be taken on a lease but then didn't complete, although the tenant has been paying rent for the past three years.

Can you advise your tenant as to whether he is on a license or a lease and if so what the implications are with regard to a dilapidations claim, for example, can he simply hand back the keys and simply walk away from any issues raised in the Dilapidations Notice.

8. Lease with Side Letter

Your client, the tenant, had a lease on a property for the last five years. He recalls that the lease excluded the structural cracking to the rear of the property in the form of a side letter. The landlord has had a Dilapidations Notice served at the end of the lease and has identified the cracking as something that needs remedial work.

How would you advise your tenant to proceed?

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