Archive for June, 2008

Guidance to dilapidations

The RICS has published its much awaited new Guidance Note on Dilapidations.  It provides a practical guide to best practice for surveyors working in this arena.

It incorporates, inter alia, the Property Litigation Association’s Protocol relating to any terminal schedule of dilapidations.  Although still not an adopted protocol pursuant to the civil procedure rules in the courts of England and Wales, this document, by being adopted by the RICS within its Guidance Note, is a constituent part of that best practice.

The Protocol says that a terminal schedule of dilapidations should contain an endorsement given by the surveyor preparing it.  He should state that in his opinion all the works in the schedule are reasonably required pursuant to the lease, that full account has been taken of the landlord’s intentions for the property at or shortly after the term end and the costs, if any, quoted in the schedule are reasonable.  It is hoped that the endorsement will help to stamp out exaggerated claims which, historically, have been so common in the field of dilapidations.

The Guidance Note contains much more and should be read not just by surveyors but by anyone involved in a dilapidations case.  It gives guidance on advising the client, preparing the schedule and upon its format, considers what may be included in the claim for damages (including, if appropriate, VAT) and who should pay the surveyor’s fee.  It looks, briefly, at break clauses, a tenant’s claim against a landlord which defaults in complying with its covenants to repair and at alternative dispute resolution.

Vivien King of Hatherleigh Training is a member of the RICS dilapidations working group and of the Law Reform Committee of the Property Litigation Association.  Why not ask her to tell you more about dilapiations?