Dilapidations for Surveyors

This is for all the Surveyors out there reading this who have a quiet moment!

What is a Schedule of Dilapidations?

A Schedule of Dilapidations is simply a list of repair work required to put the property into the condition stated within the Lease.

When is a Schedule of Dilapidations Official?

There is a set criteria as to how a Schedule of Dilapidations should be served and whilst anyone can serve a Schedule of Dilapidations it is probably best to leave it to a solicitor.

Checking the Schedule of Dilapidations

You need to check the Schedule of Dilapidations to ensure you are happy with the items in it, and once you are these need costings. Many surveyors use a Chartered Quantity Surveyor to carry out costing; this can add costs to your bill. In all but the very largest of cases we would expect the Chartered Building Surveyor to be able to cost the Schedule themselves. We would always recommend that the costings are accompanied with comments to help the other party's surveyor understand the thinking on the matter.

Negotiations Between the Surveyors

We would always recommend that negotiations take place face-to-face but you should first of all establish the level of authority that the surveyor has; it is no good meeting with him to discuss and negotiate on items if his client has not allowed him to have such authority.

The RICS Protocols for Dilapidations

The RICS offers guidelines and guidance with regard to how dilapidations should be dealt with; this is a basic outline:

  • Receive the instruction and confirm any issues you are not certain of. Acceptance of instruction should include a fee basis, i.e. an hourly rate, a daily rate or a fixed fee; it should not be on a commission basis.
  • A copy of the Lease should be requested – it should be noted that the end of the Lease is the only date that is relevant – we say that because if a Landlord advises that he intends to develop the site and cant show that he has made steps towards this at the end of the Lease, and only at the end of the Lease, this is the important date.
  • The Chartered Building Surveyor starts off as an advocate. By this we mean he utilises his skills as a Chartered Building Surveyor to best advise his client and negotiate; however, he has to do this within the bounds of reasonableness, as if the dilapidations proceeds to court he then becomes an ‘expert witness'.

We recommend from a business point of view that you bill your client as you proceed as this helps the cash flow.

We would also recommend you obtain general background information from the client and a face-to-face cup of tea meeting.

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