Brady Solicitors’ commercial litigation specialists negotiated a favourable settlement in a recent dilapidation claim after the landlord decided to replace aspects of his building rather than repair them.

Our client, the commercial tenant, was facing a dilapidations claim from their landlord for work undertaken to replace aspects of the building. Fortunately for our client, the lease they had signed up to at the outset of their tenancy expressed their obligations as being to ‘repair the roof and windows’ when the lease came to an end. They were under no obligation to ‘replace’.

It’s not to say that a landlord cannot replace items if that was their intention upon the termination of the lease, but a replacement is only justified if repair is not reasonably or sensibly possible. In addition, the landlord can only replace like for like and not upgrade.

In this case, the landlord went on to do something very different to what was specified in the lease and replaced certain aspects of the building.

This scattergun approach taken by the landlord and could have had grave consequences had the matter gone to trial as he had failed to follow the relevant pre-action protocols. However, thanks to our negotiation skills, a favourable settlement was reached without the need to start costly court proceedings.

Our advice

Seek professional advice from both solicitors and surveyors at the outset to ensure your case is as watertight as possible. Brady Solicitors’ commercial litigation team advises landlords and tenants at either the lease review or dilapidation claim stage of a commercial tenancy. Call us on 0115 985 3450 or drop us an email.