“This is going to cost me a £110,000.00,” worried client says. “Can you help me?”
There’s nothing like the prospect of losing money that makes people start searching for answers (or grasping a straws)
“What going to cost you £110,000.00?” I ask.
“This schedule thing,” The client explains, waving it at me over the phone. “They want £110,000 grand.”
“My !!@@!!@@!! landlord, does,” my client explained. “Or rather that’s what those sharks who’ve looked round my building say I owe?”
Does this conversation sound familiar?
If you take on a self-repairing lease, at the end of the lease a schedule of dilapidations is drawn up. In my experience, landlords and their agents can be very inventive. That little crack in the corner – It’s going to cost thousands to fix.
In the case in point, my client had leased a building five years before and now that he was moving on the landlord had presented him with a bill for £110,000.00 for various alleged dilapidations. (Plus surveyors fees @17.50%)
So what is the moral of the story?
A wise man has his own surveyor carry out a photographic condition survey before leasing the building and then the landlord will have a hard job charging for pre-existing defects.
What of my client?
Luckily, he’d engaged me five years before to carry out a photographic condition survey (cost £700.00 + VAT ) and we were able to prove that most of the “damage” wasn’t damage at all. Most of the defects had existed before he moved into the building.
In the end, we negociated the charge down to £10,000.00. (This also cut down the fees as well )
So I repeat, the moral of the story is have a photographic condition survey carried out at the start of the lease and make sure copies given to all parties.
It’s very good shark repellent.