Proactive occupiers come out the best
A proactive occupier will be thinking of their exit and limiting their lease end liabilities before signing a new lease, which could save them thousands both during, and at the end of the term.
Generally, we meet our occupier clients following a bad experience with a dilapidations claim. We then through strategic expert advice protect and save them money and resource, enabling them to concentrate on the day to day running of their business.
Do not take the chance and wait for that bad dilapidations experience. Adopt a proactive approach and let’s talk…
Before the term
Limiting your repairing and decorative obligations through a well drafted Schedule of Condition prior to the commencement of the lease is often the tenant’s best weapon. Not just a bunch of blurry photos which exclude the roof and high-level areas, a well drafted, thorough document prepared by a Chartered Building Surveyor, with experience of negotiating dilapidation claims and preparing Schedules of Condition.
Whilst on site undertaking the Schedule of Condition, our surveyors can compile a Pre-Lease Survey which gives you an overall assessment of the condition of the premises, together with budget costs to remedy any defects and bring the premises into a lease compliant condition. This should help you assess the level of a rent-free period (if applicable) and could provide you with a useful bargaining tool with the landlord. Our technical capabilities and knowledge of the site will be useful in assisting your legal advisor (who will more than likely not visit site).
We can also tailor our Pre-Lease Surveys to meet your specific user requirements and make them bespoke to your operation should you require.
12-18 months prior to lease expiry
Now is the time you need to be really preparing for your exit and calculating your potential dilapidations liability.
An AG Dilapidations Liability Assessment (DLA) is fantastic tool for calculating your potential dilapidations liability, and helping you manage your exit through bespoke, strategic advice from our Chartered Building Surveyors.
Our DLAs can include a best and worst case scenario figure alongside recommended exit works to help the tenant control costs and drive the dilapidations procedure. Remember –proactive occupiers come out the best with regards to dilapidations.
In addition to the above, you may find that your accountant recommends obtaining advice on your potential dilapidations liability for provision purposes around this time, if not before. Our DLAs will suffice in this regard and we have experience of working with various accountants acting on behalf of our mutual clients.
Time to undertake the works?
If you are adopting a proactive approach to dilapidations and assessing your potential liability 12-18 months before lease expiry, the chances are, you will have time to undertake exit works and control costs before determination of the lease.
If you sit back and wait for the landlord to drive the claim, you may find the landlord undertakes the work post expiry and evidences loss, therefore putting them in a strong negotiating position. At this point, the tenant’s options are limited as the lease has expired and they no longer have access to undertake works. Furthermore, a loss of rent claim may also be added should the landlord undertake the works and this delay a potential new letting.
AG have experienced Project Managers who can manage your exit works and fulfil the Principal Designer role. They will work closely with our dilapidation experts to ensure you receive the best commercial advice along the way.
Landlord’s Schedule of Dilapidations arrives….
Many of our client’s approach us for the first time at this stage. I am sure you can see the opportunities missed by this point in terms of reducing the tenant’s liability and controlling costs. Unfortunately, these opportunities diminish further for the tenant when the lease ends.
If the tenant has adopted a proactive approach and instructed AG early in the process, the tenant will be well appraised with regards to their potential dilapidations liability, and we may have already made savings along the way.
Notwithstanding, it is at this point we will look to enter into negotiations with the landlord’s surveyor and compile a formal response to the claim in the recommended electronic Scott Schedule format. We will need to do this within the timescales stipulated within the Dilapidations Protocol – 56 days following issue of the Quantified Demand.
Our Chartered Building Surveyors are experienced negotiators and up to speed with the latest dilapidations case law, and have the tools required to successfully defend a tenant.
We have in-house Quantity Surveyors and access to published pricing guides and historic project data to cross check and dispute the landlord’s costs.
We often collaborate with RICS Registered Section 18 Valuers and Commercial Property Lawyers and work together to successfully defend an occupier.
We provide strategic, commercial advice whilst providing excellent client care throughout.
Commercial occupier leasing premises? Let’s talk…
BSc (Hons) MRICS
0161 696 3119
07735 233 642