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Understanding the Dilapidations Process: Navigating Costs, Surveys, and Legalities

As a tenant or landlord, the end of a lease agreement often marks a critical juncture in your property journey. This phase involves the dilapidations process, a complex set of procedures and considerations related to the condition and maintenance of the property. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of the dilapidations process, including dilapidation costs, surveys, legal frameworks, and renowned firms like Dowding and Reynolds.

Dilapidations: What Are They?

Dilapidations are essentially breaches of the lease agreement concerning the state of the property. These breaches can manifest as disrepair, neglect, or failure to adhere to the maintenance standards stipulated in the lease. Addressing dilapidations is a pivotal part of the lease-end process.

Dilapidation Costs: Who Pays?

One of the most significant aspects of the dilapidations process is the associated costs. Typically, tenants are responsible for covering the expenses incurred to remedy the dilapidations. These costs can vary widely depending on the extent of the required repairs or reinstatement works.

Dilapidations Survey: The Crucial Assessment

A dilapidations survey is the cornerstone of the process. It involves a comprehensive inspection of the property, often conducted by a chartered surveyor, who is typically appointed by the landlord. This survey aims to assess the property's condition and determine if there are any breaches of lease obligations.

Dilapidation Survey Cost: What to Expect

The cost of a dilapidations survey can vary based on several factors, including the size and complexity of the property. Chartered surveyors set their fees for conducting these assessments, which can differ from one professional to another. Some surveyors will charge an hourly rate, while some will offer a fixed fee for their services.

Section 18 Dilapidations: Legal Framework

In the United Kingdom, Section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 plays a pivotal role in the dilapidations process. This section outlines the landlord's rights to serve a notice on the tenant concerning the property's state of repair. It provides the tenant with an opportunity to rectify any breaches before the lease concludes.

Lease Dilapidations: Adhering to Obligations

Lease dilapidations pertain to the obligations and responsibilities outlined in the lease agreement regarding property maintenance. Tenants are legally bound to comply with these terms, making it essential to understand and fulfill these obligations.

Terminal Dilapidations: End-of-Lease Assessment

Terminal dilapidations refer to the assessment of the property's condition at the end of the lease term. Typically, this is when the landlord conducts a final inspection to identify any breaches and associated costs.

Dilapidation Charges: Calculating Penalties

Dilapidation charges are the financial penalties or costs tenants may face for failing to maintain the property as specified in the lease terms. These charges are typically calculated based on the necessary repair and reinstatement works.

RICS Dilapidations Cost per Square Foot: A Benchmark

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides guidance on calculating dilapidation costs, including a cost-per-square-foot benchmark. This benchmark can serve as a reference point for assessing the extent of dilapidations.


In conclusion, the dilapidations process is a critical phase in property management, requiring careful consideration of costs, surveys, legal obligations, and expert guidance. Both landlords and tenants must be aware of their rights and responsibilities to ensure a fair and mutually beneficial resolution. By understanding these key elements, you can better navigate the intricacies of the dilapidations process and protect your interests as you move forward in your property journey.

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