Unfortunately, it is not always the case that when a tenant leaves a property it is left in the condition it should be left in, in accordance with the lease. Disrepair to items that are covered by repairing covenants contained in a lease are known as dilapidations.
Options when dealing with a dilapidations claim
If a tenant is in breach of the repairing covenants then the landlord has the following remedies available:
This is the only remedy available to a landlord once the lease has come to an end.
However, damages can also be claimed whilst the tenant is still within the term of the lease.
How the damages are calculated depends on whether or not the lease is still continuing. If the lease is still ongoing then the starting point for calculating damages is the diminution in the value of the reversion. The idea behind not simply awarding a landlord the full cost of the repairs is that whilst the tenant remains in occupation, the landlord is not in a position to spend money on the repairs.
Once the lease has ended damages are calculated based on the reasonable cost of the repair work plus any loss of rent for the period the work was being carried out.
Please read our detailed section on forfeiture.
Carry out the repairs yourself
Most leases nowadays contain provision that allows a landlord to enter the property during the term of the lease to carry out any repair works. The landlord is then entitled to recover the cost of these works from the tenant as a debt rather than a claim for damages.
This is an order by the court requiring the tenant to fulfill its obligations in accordance with the lease. However, this is normally awarded where damages would not be sufficient. In dilapidations cases, it is rare for damages not to be sufficient.
To discuss your dilapidations claim or any other landlord matter call Mark Fagan on 0113 320 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org