Commercial Property – Planning for the Associated Costs of Maintenance and Repairs

When taking on a new tenancy in a commercial property, tenants need to be aware of the associated costs of property maintenance and repairs. It is a common misconception that property maintenance costs are covered by the landlord, but this is often not the case. In some cases, the tenant may be liable for all of the costs of maintenance and repair during the term of the lease.

One of the most important methods of managing property maintenance costs is to conduct a Pre-Lease Assessment. This will enable the tenant to gain an understanding of the condition of the property before they move in, and highlight any areas that may need repair or maintenance in the near future.

Alongside this, a professionally prepared Schedule of Condition can go a long way to limiting your dilapidations liabilities down the line.

It is also vital to establish and understand the responsibilities of both parties – yourself as the tenant and the landlord – from the outset. This should be detailed in the lease, but if you are at all unsure, you should seek clarification at an early stage – ideally in writing.

Good planning and project management of works and planned preventative maintenance is key to managing property maintenance costs throughout the course of the lease. Regular and proactive maintenance will help to identify potential issues and address them before they become more costly to repair. It is important to ensure that the work is always carried out to the highest standard, as this will help to reduce the likelihood of further problems arising in the future. If possible, keep records of all repairs and maintenance undertaken during the lease; this can be useful to provide as evidence should you face a dilapidations dispute down the line.

Finally, it is important to plan for exiting a property well in advance. Landlords can try to use dilapidations to their advantage and it is not uncommon to receive a larger than expected dilapidations schedule when exiting a property. By providing plenty of notice and requesting a Schedule of Dilapidations from the landlord at an early stage, a tenant will have more time to undertake any works that may be required.

Matthew Parkinson Surveyors provide tenants with advice across all aspects of commercial property, such as obtaining a Pre-Lease Assessment or Schedule of Condition, seeking Planned Preventative Maintenance advice or Dilapidations advice. To discuss any of these with us, please get in touch.

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