Dilapidation management is all about good habits and behaviours, in the spirit of the seven capital vices Vantage experienced Dilapidation Consultants set out their recommendations of how to avoid any unnecessary sins.
At Vantage we use simple principles: 1- Obtain an accurate client brief, then, 2- Set realistic objectives. Its only by looking back from a goal that we can put a pragmatic strategy in place and increase our chances of success.
If you do not point your rocket at the moon, you will never get there.
Planning in dilapidations will put you on the front foot and allow an element of control. Settlement value Is a key goal, but equally important is the time taken to secure a resolution. Early dialogue with any tenant will never fail in advancing negotiations.
Credibility is key as trust issues between parties will delay negotiations and potentially lower the value of any settlement. Inflated or inaccurate schedules start any negotiation off in the wrong manner and the clients position is compromised. Advisors need to think before they act and a well prepared schedule will start things off in the right manner.
Too often defined notice periods for reinstatement are missed, or the service of a schedule is incorrectly performed, leaving landlords to keep unwanted alterations, or being unable to recover fees. The lease is the lease so always make sure notices are served correctly and an opportunity is not missed that will be regretted at a later time.
Assumption is the mother of all…. problems, or so they say. Too often during regears or renewals demise descriptions are inherited from a previous lease, or refer to an outdated plan. Always get lease plans or descriptions reviewed by a Building Surveyor, to avoid being left with unwanted tenant fit out, or equipment.
Recovery levels can be significantly impacted by the use of a well prepared SoC, and also help maintain an assets value. Control is key otherwise the document can lack commerciality, agreeing amendments can be a painful process and time wasted in doing so. Never under estimate the importance of a good SoC, or the ability to interpret an existing one so as to make the best of any scenario. Landlords should always prepare a SoC and as soon as possible when agreeing a lease, or if a SoC needs to be considered as part of a lease end dilapidations the sooner things are assessed the better.
The link between heads of terms and leases should never be underestimated. Any contributions be they financial, rent free or landlord works, all need to be clearly identified to assist in demonstrating loss. The devil is in the detail, so never forget to clearly reference all contributions to allow the optimum position for dilapidation recovery.
The message for any landlord is simple, assume nothing, have the lease / scenario reviewed by an experienced consultancy who can advise on the best plan and always address dilapidations as early as possible.
A good consultant will highlight the risks and advise on how best to control them.
Vantage are experienced dilapidation consultants working for both landlords and tenants in the UK and Europe occasionally so we know the position from both sides of the fence, enabling our advice to be realistic and commercial.
If you a have dilapidation scenario active or one approaching, then do not hesitate to call us for some advice, we welcome helping our clients set things off on the right path from day one.