Commercial Tenants: 4 ways to avoid unexpected costs

If you rent a commercial property, you have an obligation to keep the property in good repair. If you don’t, your landlord can recover the cost of the repairs, at the end of or even during the term of the lease.

Known as ‘dilapidations’, the damage and defects that a tenant is liable for can be an unwelcome and costly surprise for commercial tenants. If you are looking at renewing your lease or are just starting out and need advice on agreeing to terms, our commercial property team can guide you through the process and ensure your lease meets the needs of you and your business.

Our Top 4 Tips To Help Avoid Dilapidations Costs

  1. Before entering into the lease, consider the liability you are taking on carefully. There are multiple clauses that can affect dilapidations, including repair, decorating, and complying with statute. You may want to consider a schedule of condition, which shows the standard of the property when you enter into the lease. This will ensure you do not have to bring the property to a higher standard than that shown by the lease. We can walk through your lease with you and advise you on your requirements.
  2. Whether you are entering into a new lease, or taking on an existing lease, make sure you inspect the property before completion. We recommend you obtain a survey, which will show you any issues with the property and give you an estimate of costs for putting the property into the standard of repair required by the lease. When you instruct us, we are able to point you in the direction of surveyors local to you.
  3. Get advice on your decoration obligations. If you are required to decorate, but decoration has not been carried out during the term, it is likely to be an excessive cost at the end of your lease. Likewise, sometimes a lease can require you to put the premises into a higher standard of condition than when you first entered. It’s important you understand what is required of you.
  4. Do you want to carry out works to the property? Seek advice on whether the changes you want to make are going to be allowed under your lease and if you need consent from the landlord. Often tenants will not obtain consent from the landlord, and simply ask for forgiveness later. This doesn’t change the potential need to remove any works at the end of the term – at your own cost.

Don’t get caught out – arrange your Lease Risk Review today

At your Lease Risk Review session, we will discuss:

  • Your obligations under the lease
  • Risks and potential costs you could face
  • How we can help minimise risks and our fees

Whether you already have a lease and need a review, or need our advice on where to start, contact us today by telephone on 01273 604123 or email to arrange your initial consultation.

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From single property owners to investment companies with large property portfolios, we advise a large number of commercial property owners and tenants. We deliver a high-end, high quality service, with no-nonsense, jargon-free advice.


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