A dilapidation survey is an extremely thorough survey that examines a building’s current state, documenting in detail everything from its physical structure, components and systems to issues involving furnishings, all the way through to general wear and tear. This type of survey is typically undertaken near the end of a tenancy or during a lease term, prior to terminating a contract or to validate a contractor’s performance. These ‘dilapidations’ are the exit costs for a tenant at the end of their lease to ensure that the building is restored to its original or pre-let state and may involve reinstating or removing any aesthetic alterations. Dilapidation surveys must be carried out by an independent assessor to ensure that there is no bias towards either the landlord or tenant and should be an extremely thorough report of every aspect of its condition to enable both parties to understand their obligations at the termination of the contract. The survey may become the tool used to settle disputes and claims that may have arisen between a landlord and tenant. What type of properties need a dilapidation survey? Essentially, any property that is rented or leased will benefit from a dilapidation survey – be it retail, commercial, industrial or residential. A dilapidation survey is a way to protect both the landlord and tenant. If you are a landlord who is concerned about your tenant’s lack of maintenance on a property, above and beyond general wear and tear, the survey can assess whether your tenant needs to pay to undertake any work necessary to return the property to its pre-tenancy state. If you are a tenant who believes your landlord is claiming for unrealistic works to be undertaken, such as changes or damage to the property that existed before you moved in, then providing the evidence with a thorough dilapidation report can help to ensure that you aren’t charged unfairly. If a tenant has installed partition walls or a mezzanine floor that the landlord wishes to retain, then these considerations should be made clear before any remedial work can be undertaken. What happens after a dilapidation survey? There is a period of time after the issue of a survey where a landlord or tenant many dispute the decisions of the report. There are laws regarding the processes of dealing with these aspects of landlord and tenant agreements, (Law of Property 1925, Landlord and Tenant Act 1954) and a qualified surveyor will be able to help guide you through these processes for the fairest outcome to both parties. Some landlords require the tenant to implement any changes that need to take place, so notifying them early allows for these procedures to take effect and for checks to be made, so that all work can be completed correctly before the end of tenancy. In other situations, a cash settlement might be preferred. But in any instance, raising dilapidations early allows for any negotiation to take place and any disagreements to be resolved prior to dissolving the contract or lease. After a survey has been conducted and sent to the tenant, they have eight weeks to make their response. If they disagree with the suggested level of work, or the costs involved, they can then issue a response called a ‘Scott Schedule’. Within this response, the tenant can suggest what they consider to be more appropriate costings. If the landlord disagrees, then it may well be escalated to a court hearing. However, if there is a robust dilapidation survey in place, then it shouldn’t be a protracted court hearing, as the judge will have all the necessary information to make a fair judgement in order to settle the dispute swiftly. Why do I need a dilapidation survey? As mentioned previously, having a dilapidation survey from a trusted surveying team will help to ensure that any tenant and landlord disputes can be resolved to the satisfaction of both parties, hopefully before it becomes a court hearing. Making sure that a thorough dilapidation survey is undertaken in good time, before the termination of the rental contract, also allows time to get any building works undertaken or to settle any negotiations that need to take place. Why choose DES Holdings for your construction needs? DES Holdings has the required expertise to handle all your dilapidation survey requirements. With over 30 years in the construction, development and demolition industry, we have built up a huge and varied client base of long-lasting customer relationships which are centred around trust and skilled workmanship. With a strong commitment to best practices and responsible contracting, you can be certain of a professional and thorough service. We also offer both landlords or tenants post-survey services, including full strip outs, returning buildings back to shell, or white boxing (returning a property to a blank canvas or ‘white box’), where necessary. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly experts about your dilapidation survey requirements or any related needs.