Commercial Surveys

Dilapidations

In almost all tenancies there will be obligations concerning the form and condition of the premises. A failure to comply with such obligations will give rise to a claim for what is commonly known as dilapidations. For any sizeable dilapidations claim both the landlord and the tenant will appoint professional representatives, usually building surveyors, because of the degree of construction knowledge required. For the dilapidations process to be successful the appointed surveyor must also have a reasonable understanding of the often complex legal principles in this area of law. It is not uncommon for solicitors to be involved in dilapidations claims, perhaps in the formal service of the claim itself, or in the interpretation of the lease covenants.

 

Dilapidations is a specialist area of building surveying which requires a host of technical skills and legal knowledge. It is an area subject to continual development as case law can and does significantly alter the way dilapidations claims are won and lost.

Dilapidations are breaches of covenant to repair a building contained in a lease. A typical modern commercial lease will describe in detail the obligations placed on the tenant in keeping the property in good repair and decorative condition throughout the term.

Dilapidations are a complex and contentious aspect of the landlord and tenant relationship.
Failure by either party to understand and comply with their obligations can lead to dispute and the possibility of substantial financial loss.

No two dilapidations claims can be identical because no two buildings are exactly the same, nor will the lease covenants or other circumstances necessarily be similar either.

 

The Civil Procedure Rules and the Property Litigation Association

Pre-action Protocol have fundamentally changed the method in which dilapidations are approached. Bakemans Limited have a clear understanding of these procedures, which is paramount in order to avoid prejudicing the claim.

 

This is not an area of practice for the inexperienced, the faint-hearted or ‘dabblers’ as they will be found out by more experienced surveyors or opposing legal advisors.

 

Whether acting for landlords or tenants, Bakemans Limited are able to advise the parties at the critical stage of entering into the lease and towards the closing stages when a terminal schedule of dilapidations is served. Bakemans Limited aim to provide the optimum solution on behalf of our clients through the process of negotiation.

 

Building Surveys
A commercial building is also subject to a variety of statutory legislation. These matters should be determined and fully considered prior to making your legal commitment, whilst residential property is often the largest single purchase an individual will make and it is essential to understand the initial and ongoing liabilities.

 

Bakemans Limited carry out Pre-Acquisition Surveys for all purposes, adapting these to suit the purchaser’s requirements.

Our reports include a detailed analysis of the building structure; maintenance requirements and defects identified, but also draw attention to the legislation that affects the users, owners and occupiers of commercial premises.

 

Bakemans Limited understand that time is of the essence during an acquisition and we appreciate the importance of identifying key issues at an early stage and recognise that clients require clear advice on these issues so that decisions can be taken.

 

We often provide an oral report immediately following the survey and the written report within one week of the inspection. Bakemans Limited ensure that the survey for each acquisition is tailored to the individual property and the associated risks.

 

If repair works are required, we can offer Design, Specification and Project Management.

 

Technical Due Diligence Reporting
Bakemans Limited have extensive experience in delivering Technical Due Diligence reports for clients across a range of sectors – the service is aimed at mitigating client risk.


The process generally includes;
Considering the suitability of the building for the clients occupational requirements in terms of design, layout, flexibility and facilities
Assessing the building’s structure and fabric and advising of the quality of design, construction, workmanship and materials
Providing advice to solicitors on technical matters arising from the legal acquisition documentation.


When dealing with contemporary buildings, assisting in the procurement of suitable warranties from the consultants and contractors responsible for the design and construction of the development and full as-built drawings and specifications together with operating and maintenance manuals
Advising on the requirement for specialist advice from other consultants and providing an overview and interpretation of the advice

 

Building Reinstatement Cost Assessments
Buildings must be insured to cover the full cost of demolition and rebuilding together with any other allowances for professional fees. For leased buildings, the insurance policy may cover ground rent and an alternative accommodation for the lessees, but this should be clarified with the insurance company.

 

An accurate reinstatement cost could save you money on your insurance premiums by accurately determining the value of your property before you obtain a quotation. We have known some property owners to guess at the cost of reinstatement, but in the event of an insurance claim being made; the first thing the underwriter will ask for is a reinstatement valuation.

 

If your property is undervalued, you might not receive the full value of your insurance claim. Although many buildings insurance policies are index-linked, it still makes sense to obtain regular reinstatement valuations to make sure that you have sufficient cover. In the event of fire or other catastrophe, Bakemans Limited can assist with specifying & administering repairs as part of our Project Management services, agreeing suitable settlements with the insurance loss adjusters.

 

Licences for Alterations

A Licence for Alterations documents the changes and also often any requirement for reinstatement of these alterations.

For Tenants, we assist in writing specifications of the works and also preparing the accompanying plans to clearly record the alterations.

For Landlords, we review the proposed changes to assess any impact on the building and inspect the works upon completion to ensure they do not have any negative impact upon the building or other matters such as buildings insurance.

 

Defects Diagnosis

As Building Surveyors, the understanding of building defects is at the core of our skill base.


Typical defects requiring diagnosis would relate to:

Structural movement
Water ingress
Appearance of dampness
Dependent upon the visual evidence recorded, further investigation may be required involving opening up of building elements, laboratory analysis or a period of monitoring.

Following diagnosis, we can prepare detailed specifications of repair and coordinate the repair works as part of a Project Management role.

 

Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM)

A PPM schedule allows you to anticipate future costs of building work to your property so that you can budget for them, and ensure that repair works fit in around your business so as to cause the least disturbance possible.

 

The key advantages are:
easier planning of maintenance and replacement components,
costs are distributed more evenly ensuring cash-flow is not unduly affected by substantial re-active one-off costs.
Whatever the situation, we shall ensure that the maintenance plan is tailored to your requirements.

 

Pre-Lease Building Assessment

A Pre-lease Building Assessment reports upon the condition of the building, immediate liabilities and expenditure required to enable the building to be occupied by the proposed Tenant identifies likely maintenance and component replacement expenditure during the proposed term of occupation and also considers lease end obligations.

 

The Pre-lease Building Assessment report concludes by identifying items to be considered during lease negotiations and those which should, ideally be negotiated out of the lease. It is worthy of note the solicitor drafting the lease may not have the opportunity to visit the premises and therefore this report can be a great advantage in achieving the correct lease terms to maximise the tenants protection.

Get in touch for Pre-lease Building Assessment Information.

 

Stock Condition Surveys

A condition survey considers the condition of a building, part of a building, estate or portfolio compared to a predetermined standard, to identify any actions necessary to bring the property up to that standard and keep it there. For owners, occupiers and managers, a condition survey identifies maintenance and repair work, and the timescale for undertaking that work, thereby permitting budgeting, the assessment of compliance and strategic planning. For investors, a condition survey serves as an audit measuring the condition of their asset, while for purchasers, such a survey assists in asset valuation by identifying repair and dilapidation liabilities.

 

This is best understood by looking at each of the key terms individually and with examples.
Stock can be any asset of the built environment:
Assets – buildings or components these may be, for example, domestic, commercial, industrial or institutional;
Spaces – for example: public spaces, parks, pavements; private spaces, corridors, atria;
Facilities – for example: provision of lighting, accessibility;
Attributes – for example; material, measure, location.
Condition is the criteria by which the stock is to be judged.

Typical condition issues include;
State of repair or disrepair;
Physical state and need for maintenance;
Existence of components;
Health and safety;
Fitness for purpose;
Capacity to meet regulatory requirements;
Capacity to meet performance requirements.

Contact us

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

01332 411 554

 

2nd Floor

Lisbon House

5 - 7 St Mary's Gate

Derby

Derbyshire

DE1 3JA

 

info@bakemans.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

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Contact us

If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

01332 411 554

 

2nd Floor

Lisbon House

5 - 7 St Mary's Gate

Derby

Derbyshire

DE1 3JA

 

info@bakemans.co.uk

 

Or use our contact form.

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© Bakemans Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 07282896