What is Dilapidations Protocol?

Landlords of commercial premises have to follow Pre Action Protocol for damages claims in relation to commercial property at the end of a Lease, this is Dilapidations Protocol.

A commercial Landlord wanting to make a claim against a Tenant for dilapidations to their building needs to follow the process and timetable introduced on the 1st January 2012. The process sets out a timetable for the exchange of information and sets standards, for the quality of schedules that need to be produced, setting out the cost of the dilapidation repairs. The demand for money must be qualified and be part of the Pre Action negotiations.

Dilapidations Protocol places an onus on the Landlord to serve any Schedule of Dilapidations, certified by a surveyor, and should include the cost of any proposed work which should be costed fully.

The Landlord's Notice under Dilapidations Protocol requires the former Tenant to respond within 56 days, by returning a Schedule which responds to each and every item on the Landlord's Schedule of Dilapidations. The Tenant's Schedule should also be endorsed by the former Tenant's surveyor.

The parties are then expected to negotiate for a period of up to 28 days. The onus is also on the parties to give positive consideration to undertaking Alternative Dispute Resolution. Any claims for reduction in value should be prepared by a valuer.

The new Pre Action Protocol for dilapidations is expected reduce the number of claims going to court and for those that do proceed to speed up the process of the dilapidation claim so that a commercial lease can be renewed without considerable delay.

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