Q&As

Are damages for diminution in value an alternative to damages for remedying a breach—do they exist separately or can you claim for both? Can you have a claim for diminution in value when repairs are already being carried out and what can give rise to diminution in value—is this simply damage to property or can it be other things as well?

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Produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins
Published on LexisPSL on 06/06/2016

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are damages for diminution in value an alternative to damages for remedying a breach—do they exist separately or can you claim for both? Can you have a claim for diminution in value when repairs are already being carried out and what can give rise to diminution in value—is this simply damage to property or can it be other things as well?
  • Damages at common law
  • Diminution in value

Are damages for diminution in value an alternative to damages for remedying a breach—do they exist separately or can you claim for both? Can you have a claim for diminution in value when repairs are already being carried out and what can give rise to diminution in value—is this simply damage to property or can it be other things as well?

For the sake of this Q&A, it is assumed the lease of the property in question has expired when the claim for diminution in value is made.

Damages at common law

The measure of damages in a dilapidations claim is the reasonable cost the landlord has incurred in returning the property to the state in which it ought to have been left, and therefore the starting point for calculating damages will be the actual loss suffered by the landlord in carrying out these works. The level of damages will be that which is reasonable to compensate the landlord for losses incurred in remedying the tenant's breach.

As well as the cost of carrying out the works, damages may also extend to:

  1. loss of rent, where the premises are unable to be let due to the state of repair of the premises and/or could only be re-let on the basis of a substantial rent-free period

  2. professional fees such as costs of surveyors overseeing the works (although not the

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