Q&As

How are damages in dilapidations claims assessed?

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Published on LexisPSL on 10/01/2014

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How are damages in dilapidations claims assessed?
  • When does the question of assessment arise in such cases?
  • What is the common law measure of damages?
  • What is the s 18 statutory cap?
  • How is the diminution in reversion calculated?
  • Examples in practice
  • What are typical areas of dispute?
  • Further guidance and precedents

How are damages in dilapidations claims assessed?

When does the question of assessment arise in such cases?

During the term of a lease, if the tenant has failed to comply with its repairing obligations under the lease, the landlord may (among other options) decide to carry out the repairs and claim the costs from the tenant as a debt: this is commonly known as a 'Jervis v Harris clause'. However, once the lease term has ended, the landlord can no longer rely on such a clause. At that stage, damages are the only available remedy.

There are various protocols to be followed at the outset of 'dilapidations' claims once the lease term has ended. For further guidance on these, see Practice Note: Dilapidations claims at the end of the term—Dilapidations Protocol and Procedure

What is the common law measure of damages?

The common law measure of damages is:

  1. the cost of carrying out the repairs, plus

  2. the loss of rent while those repairs are being carried out

However, the sum of these two figures is subject to a statutory cap under section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 (LTA 1927).

What is the s 18 statutory cap?

Under LTA 1927, s 18, damages to be awarded under a

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