Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, preparing for a dilapidations survey is crucial to ensure a smooth process and avoid potential disputes. A dilapidations survey assesses the condition of a property at the end of a lease to determine any breaches of the lease terms regarding repairs and maintenance. Here’s a comprehensive checklist to help you get ready for a dilapidations survey.
dilapidations checklist
For Tenants:

Review Your Lease Agreement: Carefully read through the lease terms, focusing on clauses related to repairs, maintenance, and alterations. Understanding your obligations is essential to avoid unexpected liabilities.

Conduct a Pre-Inspection: Perform an internal inspection to identify any issues that need addressing. Look for wear and tear, structural damage, and compliance with the lease’s repair standards.

Document the Condition: Take detailed photographs and notes of the property’s current condition. This documentation can serve as evidence if there are disagreements later on.

Carry Out Necessary Repairs: Address any repair and maintenance issues identified during the pre-inspection. Ensure that all work complies with the standards specified in the lease.

Remove Alterations: If the lease requires restoring the property to its original state, remove any alterations or improvements made during your tenancy. This might include removing partitions, reinstating original flooring, or repainting walls.

Hire a Professional Surveyor: Consider engaging a building surveyor to conduct a dilapidations assessment before the landlord’s survey. This proactive step can help identify and rectify potential issues.

dilapidated building
For Landlords:

Know Your Lease Terms: Be well-versed in the lease conditions, especially the tenant’s obligations regarding property upkeep and restoration at lease end.

Schedule a Professional Survey: Hire a qualified building surveyor to conduct the dilapidations survey. A professional surveyor will provide a detailed report outlining any breaches of the lease terms.

Inspect the Property: Perform your own inspection before the professional survey to familiarize yourself with the property’s condition and identify any obvious issues.

Review Previous Condition Reports:  Examine any condition reports or schedules of condition prepared at the start of the lease. These documents can help compare the property’s condition over time and identify changes.

Document Everything: Like tenants, landlords should take photographs and detailed notes of the property’s current state. This evidence can be crucial in supporting the surveyor’s findings.

Prepare for Negotiations: Be ready to discuss the survey results with the tenant. Understanding the likely points of contention and having a clear strategy for negotiations can facilitate a fair resolution.

Common Issues to Address

Structural Damage: Check for cracks, water damage, and other structural issues. These are often the most significant and costly items on a dilapidations schedule.

Decorative Condition: Ensure that the paintwork, flooring, and other decorative aspects are in good condition and meet the lease requirements.

Mechanical and Electrical Systems: Verify that all HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems are functioning correctly and have been maintained as specified.

Compliance with Regulations: Make sure the property complies with current building codes and health and safety regulations.

Final Steps

Agree on a Schedule of Dilapidations: Once the survey is complete, landlords and tenants should review the schedule of dilapidations together and agree on the necessary repairs and associated costs.

Plan for Remediation: Tenants should arrange for any required work to be completed promptly, and landlords should monitor progress to ensure standards are met.

Settle Financial Matters: If repairs cannot be completed before the lease ends, negotiate a financial settlement to cover the cost of the dilapidations.

By following this comprehensive checklist, both landlords and tenants can effectively prepare for a dilapidations survey, minimizing disputes and ensuring a fair resolution. Proper preparation and understanding of each party’s responsibilities are key to a smooth and efficient process.

Contact us today to arrange dilapidations survey.