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Within the last year of a lease, it is important that a landlord understands their obligations at the end of the lease and protects their interest and position to claim for any costs they may incur putting the property back into a state of repair at the end of the term.

Every lease contains repairing obligations, defining the exact standard in which the tenant is required to maintain the property. Specific provisions within the lease will set out how the property is to be kept and maintained during the duration of the lease, as well as distinct requirements when returning the property to the landlord at the end of the term. These obligations can include decorating the property, removal of fixtures, fittings and any improvements or alteration works made during the term of the lease. It is important for a Landlord to understand the repairing and yielding up obligations within the lease, prior to its determination, to ensure that they adhere to the terms and time frames set out in the lease.

Most leases will require a landlord to serve a notice on the tenant before the lease expires requiring them to reinstate the property to a similar condition it was in at the start of the lease. Usually there is also an obligation on the landlord to serve a dilapidation schedule on the tenant prior to the end of the lease. A dilapidation schedule is an itemised list of disrepair at the property that is usually carried out by a surveyor. In essence, it is a cost breakdown of the tenant’s failure to comply with their repair and yielding up obligations pursuant to the lease which a landlord can seek to claim from the tenant.

The reinstatement notice and dilapidation schedule obligations within the lease are usually time sensitive.  A landlord’s failure to serve the notices within the required timeframe can result in significant financial consequences for a landlord at the end of the term as it would hinder a landlord from claiming the repair costs from the tenant.

As a firm we have significant experience in serving reinstatement notices and dealing with dilapidation claims on behalf of Landlords. Please speak to Shauna Thompson to find out more.

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