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Whether you are a landlord or a tenant and whether your property is commercial or residential you will need to consider your repairing obligations, and where there is a breach of a repairing obligation you may need either to make or defend a dilapidations claim. Addressing dilapidations issues before they develop can save time and money. In many cases they are not stand-alone issues. They may be relevant, and perhaps very important, in relation to service charges, lease renewals, and for tenants in particular in relation to the expiry of their leases, particularly if they are exercising a conditional break clause.

The professionals that are normally associated with high-value dilapidations claims or disrepair claims include property litigation solicitors, building surveyors, valuers, and barristers. We have close connections with the property bar and other property professionals. As with most disputes, a lot of work is usually done to avoid court proceedings and a dilapidations protocol exists to assist in the resolution of these disputes. The first step is usually the preparation of a schedule of dilapidations.

In residential or housing disrepair cases landlords and tenants often have very different priorities when it comes to external and roof repairs. The tension between the two frequently leads to housing disrepair claims.

It is always desirable to address a repairs issue before it’s addressed by your opponent. A large part of our dilapidations protocol involves this sort of strategic advice: advice about what’s possible and what’s not; what you should do; and when you should do it. If this doesn’t assist in resolving the issue then at least it’s prepared the ground for engaging in the dilapidations protocol and any litigation that follows. If it comes to litigation we can provide strong and assertive representation up to and including trial.