Before the start of the lease – Schedules of condition

Know what your repair and maintenance obligations will be and save thousands of pounds – get a Schedule of condition

When entering into a commercial lease, landlords and tenants need to pay close attention to the lease and what their obligations will be in relation to repairing and decorating the premises, throughout and at the end of the lease.  Getting the right advice and employing the right professionals may save you many thousands of pounds.

As such, Tenants and Landlords should take advice from their legal adviser about the likely extent of their repairing obligations.

If the relevant covenant is to put the property back into the condition as at the start of the lease, then both parties will also need to take advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor, who will likely prepare a Schedule of condition.  A Schedule of condition prepared by a lay person, or a photographic Schedule of condition is unlikely to be sufficiently detailed to protect the parties’ interests.  A detailed Schedule of condition will also reduce the time (and money) spent negotiating the dilapidations claim at the end of the lease.

If the relevant covenant is to “put and keep the property in repair” or something similar, then the Tenant will need to take advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor about what the extent of those repairs might be.  In this case, a Building Survey Report, or a briefer Schedule of Condition with action points might be the answer.  This will detail the condition of the property, repairs that are necessary at the time of inspection, and repairs that may or are likely to be necessary by the end of the lease.  He/she can also advise on the likely costs.  Without this information the Tenant has no idea what the true cost of the lease is likely to be.

For more information view A Code of Practice for commercial leases.


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