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Property Repairs

When a tenant takes a new lease, it is essential that the extent of the repairing obligation is fully understood. All too often tenants are left with a huge bill for dilapidations which they had neither anticipated nor budgeted for. With this in mind, tenants should carefully consider their repairing obligation.

If the tenant is entering into a full repairing lease, with an obligation to “keep the Property in good repair and condition”, the tenant should be aware that this may require the tenant to actually improve the state and condition of the Property – even though the damage or disrepair has not been caused by them and existed prior to commencement of the lease.

To protect their interests, a tenant should look to limit their repairing obligation by reference to a schedule of condition within the lease. The schedule of condition would document the state and condition of the property immediately prior to the lease commencing and so any disrepair evidenced within the schedule, would not fall on the tenant to repair.

If the landlord refuses to limit the repair obligation in such a manner, then the tenant should take steps to fully investigate the state of repair of the building and consider instructing a surveyor to identify any potential issues. If any issues are identified then it may be possible to negotiate with the landlord to specifically exclude certain parts of the property from the repair obligation.

Given that the potential costs of repairing a property can be high, it is sensible to consider obtaining legal advice to fully understand the extent of the repairing obligation and, where appropriate, take steps to limit this.

For advice on landlord obligations and tenant rights please contact Kate Pritchard at

Kate Pritchard

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