As part of an on-going relationship with Advanced Plastics Ltd, Delaney Marling Partnership Ltd were asked to provide advice on Dilapidation.
At the time DMP were working with the client on the potential purchase of new premises for their offices and manufacturing base.
If the purchase went forward then the client would be liable for the repairs under the terms of a lease for two premises they were occupying.
As the purchase progressed the landlord, via his surveyor issued two schedules of condition, one for each of the buildings that were to be vacated. The claims for dilapidations in total came to £80,000 for the two units.
DMP were formally instructed to act on behalf of the client in the defence of the dilapidation claims.
On integrating the leases it was found that the client at the time of signing the leases had instructed general practice surveyors to undertake a photographic schedule of the buildings which were then appended to the leases.
When DMP cross referenced the claims/lease with the photographic schedules provided, there were some apparent gaps in the documents. The photographs missed some of the items/areas identified within the claims.
This is why DMP always advise that a full detailed schedule of condition survey, with written and photographic elements is undertaken at the start of a lease.
The photographs taken are then backed up with a written description/schedule within the report (rather than depending fully on photographs at the end of a lease – which are difficult to locate and determine).The quality of the photographs are also such that the condition of an element is sometimes difficult to determine. The written schedule identifies each element, its condition and any defects apparent.
DMP negotiated with the landlords surveyors over a number of months and advised the client on elements of work that could be undertaken to reduce the claims.
The result by the time the client moved into their newly refurbished factory/offices and vacated their old leased premises was a reduction in the claim and a settlement at 50% (£40,000) of the original figure.