Regardless of whether a business is a one man band or a large corporate firm, taking on a new commercial property is always an exciting time. However, during the excitement of working out positioning of new furniture and ordering new signage etc, are tenants actually thinking about future proofing themselves as to their potential repairing liabilities in the future at the end of their lease term? More often than not the answer is no!! Whilst the idea of considering vacating a property you have yet to move into might sound strange, it is important to think about this at the beginning to minimise any expenses at a later date.
With any typical lease of a commercial property there will be obligations for the tenants to repair the building but very often tenants overlook this potential pitfall during the negotiation and legal periods. Any prudent tenant would look to limit their repairing liabilities by instructing a surveyor to prepare a Schedule of Condition on their behalf.
What is a Schedule of Condition?
A Schedule of Condition is a written and photographic document that details and evidences the condition of a property at the time a lease commences. It will include a variety of photographs and descriptions of the property and will then be annexed to the lease to limit repairing liabilities.
How will a Schedule of Condition protect a Tenant?
Having a Schedule of Condition attached to your lease at the commencement will protect the tenants repairing liabilities as it will ensure that they are not expected to put the property in any better state of condition of repair than that it was in at the start of the lease. Therefore, a Schedule of Condition sets a benchmark against which the property can be assessed against in the future.
At the end of a lease, a landlord can serve on the tenant a Schedule of Dilapidations, which will list the repairs to be carried out on the property. It is usually an obligation for the tenant to undertake the works or failing this, to make a dilapidations payment to the landlord for the cost of the works. However, if a tenant was wise at the commencement of the lease and instructed a surveyor to prepare a Schedule of Condition of the property which was then annexed to the lease, this will then minimise their potential dilapidations exposure as the lease agreement should state that the tenant is obliged to only return the property to a no better condition than that shown within the schedule rather than the tenant being liable for any wants of repair, even historic problems cause by previous occupiers.
How can BB&J Commercial help you?
BB&J Commercial have a team of surveyors with extensive experience in providing Schedule of Conditions to a wide range of clients on all ranges of commercial property. We will advise you on any problem areas with the property and work alongside your solicitor in limiting you potential future liabilities by reference to specific wording within the lease.
For further advice or to obtain a quote please contact BB&J Commercial on 01332 292825 or on firstname.lastname@example.org