01 December 2011
Draft_RAM_4_New Dilapidations Protocol
For further information please contact Andrew Tugwell or Richard Manyon
A new pre-action protocol has been introduced into the civil procedure rules for dilapidations claims. This means that there are now rules governing the conduct of parties prior to the issue of proceedings. Failure to abide by these rules can have serious consequences when the Court comes to consider the issue of costs at the end of a dispute.
Since 2002 the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have issued guidance on best practice on how to approach dilapidations claims, but it is only from January 2012 that this will form part of the Court rules.
The most important factors to note are:
- The landlord should serve a terminal schedule of dilapidations within 56 days from the end of the lease.
- The tenant should respond within a further period of 56 days.
- The schedule should bear an endorsement by the landlord or his agent that the works specified are reasonably required, that full account has been taken of the landlord's intentions for the property and that the costings are reasonable.
- Any response should bear an endorsement by the tenant or his agent that the works or costings proposed are reasonable and that the tenant has taken the landlord's supposed intentions as regards the property into account.
The protocol also provides guidance as to when a landlord should provide a diminution valuation.
The Court will be concerned with substantive compliance with the protocol. Minor breaches will be of limited importance.
In light of this parties should ensure that their surveyors are aware of the new guidance and that it is complied with when any dilapidations proceedings are contemplated.
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