Dilapidations claims at the end of the term
Dilapidations claims at the end of the term

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dilapidations claims at the end of the term
  • Damages—common law
  • Damages—statutory cap
  • First limb
  • First limb—post valuation events
  • Second limb
  • Supersession
  • Reinstatement
  • Dilapidations Protocol and Procedure
  • Claims against a sub-tenant
  • more

Once a lease has ended, the landlord can no longer forfeit or rely on a Jervis v Harris clause. At that stage, damages are the only available remedy and the amount recoverable is governed by:

  1. common law principles for the assessment of damages for breach of a covenant to repair, and

  2. section 18(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (LTA 1927), which limits, and in some cases extinguishes, the amount otherwise recoverable for disrepair (‘the statutory cap’)

Damages—common law

At common law, the measure of damages for disrepair is the cost of putting the property in the state in which it ought to have been left (plus loss of rent and other losses during the period of the works). The appropriate standard of repair is that which is reasonable in all the circumstances, including the locality and age of the building.

Where economic repair is possible, but the landlord decides to replace an item in disrepair with a new design this is not a reasonable repair, but replacement. The landlord is not entitled to damages for that work. Further, the cost cannot be out of all proportion to the benefit to be obtained. In Ruxley, reconstructing a swimming pool to a depth of 7 ft 6 inches was out of all proportion to the benefit to be obtained where