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Archive for May, 2012

Dilapidations Guidance

Those practising in the dilapidations field have long used a protocol when handling a dilapidations claim at or after the end of a lease term (’a terminal claim’).  Originally drafted by the Property Litigation Association, the Ministry of Justice adopted an adapted form on 1 January 2012 as part of its Civil Procedure Rules (’CPR’) Pre-Action Protocols.  It sets out conduct a court would normally expect to see prospective parties follow prior to the commencement of proceedings.  It establishes a reasonable process and timetable for the exchange of information relevant to a dispute, sets standards for the content and quality of schedules and Quantified Demands and, in particular, the conduct of pre-action negotiations.  The Dilapidations Protocol explains the meaning of ‘Quantified Demand’, ‘Response’ and ‘ quantification of loss’ and what documents should be disclosed by the parties.  It also encourages negotiations and the use of alternative dispute resolution.

It stipulates a landlord should serve its schedule of dilapidations within a reasonable time, generally within 56 days of the termination of the tenancy.  It should be endorsed by the landlord or its building surveyor confirming all works are reasonably required, full account has been taken of the landlord’s intentions for the property and costings, if any, are reasonable.  The landlord’s Quantified Demand should be served within the same time scale.

Th tenant should respond within a reasonable time generally being within 56 days of service of the schedule and Quantified Demand.  The Response should be endorsed by the tenant or its building surveyor confirming the works detailed are all that was reasonably required to remedy the alleged breaches of covenant, any costs are reasonable and account has been taken for what the tenant reasonably believes are the landlord’s intentions for the property.

To accompany the Protocol, the RICS published in May 2012 the sixth edition of its Guidance Note on Dilapidations.  Vivien King of Hatherleigh Training is a member of the working group which produced this document.  So if you wish to hear more, why not contact us?