Of all the professional services which we offer, dilapidations work is where we obtain most instructions. We are recognised as experts in this field, working for both landlords and tenants. On large dilapidations claims we often work with other consultants including building services engineers, structural engineers, environmental engineers etc. whose expertise is often crucial in preparing a claim on behalf of a landlord or defending one on behalf of a tenant.
Dilapidations claims vary considerably in the way they progress. In addition to preparing or defending claims made on the basis of the cost of the work, we fully understand the statutory limitation imposed on claims under Section 18 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927. Section 18(1) which states that the maximum amount of any terminal dilapidations claim at lease expiry is the lower of either the estimated cost of the work or the diminution in value of the landlord’s freehold reversion (on account of the disrepair).
Similarly we understand the limitations with interim claims whereby the Landlord is restricted in what work he can ask and enforce a tenant to undertake at a mid-point in a lease term.
Whilst as a practice we always try to take a commercial approach to dilapidations claims with a view to getting a fair settlement whether it be acting for the Landlord or Tenant, very occasionally claims cannot be settled and involve legal proceedings. Stephen D Buxton & Associates have a wealth of experience in preparing cases with solicitors and barristers and giving expert evidence in court.
An increasing part of the practice’s work is the preparation of Dilapidations assessments for tenants, either before they enter into a lease or during the term of a lease, often for the purposes of budgeting and claiming tax allowances.
Dilapidations claims can be considerable. As a practice we have recently acted for a nationally known company who were tenants in a building in Warrington. The dilapidations claim against them was nearly £1.5 million and we were able to settle the matter with the landlords at £0.75 million – a substantial saving.