Why use A J Hodge Associates?
A J Hodge Associates have over 15 years experience in the commercial property market and more particularly in providing dilapidations advice to our clients in office, industrial and retail sectors. This gives you unrivalled knowledge and experience.
You are guaranteed that your claim will be undertaken by a director who has a proven track record acting for large companies such as Yell.com and the BBC as well as small local businesses. That experience includes dilapidations on buildings ranging from 200,000 sq ft industrial units to 400 sq ft offices.
In effect, we’ve seen it and done it all. No building is too big or too small and no claim too complex or too simple. We don’t believe that you’ll find greater expertise or knowledge from any other organisation and testimonials reinforce that view.
Our fees for landlords can normally be recovered from the tenant as part of the justified claim. Where tenants are concerned, our fees are effectively ‘no win no fee’. If we don’t save you anything from the landlord’s claim you won’t pay us a penny. But we feel sure that you’ll be happy to pay our agreed fee when you see that it’s a fraction of the amount that we’ve been able to save you!
Give us a call for a free consultation.
A J Hodge Associates were able to provide a significant benefit to our business both financially and by giving expert advice on matters outside our field of expertise. They achieved an outstanding result for us with our tenants and we will certainly retain their services.
- Schedules of Dilapidations
- Dilapidations Negotiation
- Dilapidations Assessments
- Dilapidations Costing
- Schedules of Condition
- Lease Advice Relating to Dilapidations
- Project Management of Repairs to Satisfy Dilapidations
Do I Need a Surveyor?
Dilapidations is a niche market and becoming increasingly complex. A J Hodge Associates have an in depth knowledge of the law of dilapidations and consistently obtain the best results for our clients. Negotiation alone will not achieve the best results and clients without a clear understanding of their rights and obligations will suffer financially without expert advice. This is never more important than where a tenant tries to exercise a conditional break clause. In such circumstances if a tenant gets things wrong, they could find themselves stuck in a building they don’t want, paying rent for a further number of years. Can you take the risk?
We have an unrivalled track record of success for landlords and tenants alike, although the benefits to a tenant are easier to illustrate. One recent dilapidations was settled in the sum of £27,000 from an original claim of £148,992 a reduction of 82%. On average we would hope to save between 30% and 50% and in some cases eliminate the claim completely. You are unlikely to find a better success rate!
These savings are made through a combination of reasoned technical argument and negotiation skill. We believe that very few businesses have the in house skills to achieve such results, which is why we get appointed by large private companies as well as portfolio managers and even fellow surveyors who recognise the benefit of our services.
A tenant or landlord client acquiring, in occupation or disposing of property will undoubtedly benefit from dilapidations advice to ensure legal obligations are identified, understood and complied with. Dilapidations are breaches of covenant to repair a building as contained in the terms of a lease. Such breaches can take many forms, but a leaking roof or ripped carpets are two obvious examples. Dilapidations are often wrongly considered by tenants as insignificant in comparison with rent, rates and service charges when they are seeking new premises. However, the liability to repair can have serious financial implications and therefore the tenant would be advised to seek the advice of a Chartered Building Surveyor on opportunities to avoid, limit or mitigate dilapidations before entering into a lease, or how to deal with a claim when a schedule of dilapidations has been served upon them.
At the end of a lease it is important that the property is handed back to the Landlord in the condition set out under the terms of the lease, or that adequate compensation is made if this is not the case. Repairing obligations may be technically complex and hold potential pitfalls for landlords or tenants. Our professional Chartered Building Surveyors are highly qualified and experienced in the examination of buildings and the interpretation of repairing covenants of all types of commercial leases. We provide clients with informed advice and services relating to property dilapidations, legislation and protocol. As part of this process we are able to advise landlords and tenants how best to protect their position including the preparation of dilapidations assessments to identify dilapidations liabilities and corresponding budget costs either before or during a lease term. The advice can often lead to the production and agreement of a detailed schedule of condition which we also have the expertise to produce.
We have successfully represented many landlords in the preparation and negotiation of dilapidations claims, both large and small. Equally, we have successfully represented many tenants in defending and negotiating dilapidations claims. A J Hodge associates has expertise in the assessment of dilapidations liability, the preparation of schedules of dilapidations, the negotiation of schedules of dilapidations and financial settlements and the specifying and monitoring of repairs to comply with leasehold obligations; acting for either the tenant or landlord.
A landlord has a number of avenues that he can follow during the course of a lease and subsequent to the end of a lease to ensure that a tenant complies fully with the repairing obligations. If the building is in a particular state of disrepair during the lease term the landlord may be advised to serve a notice to repair and A J Hodge Associates are well versed in advising on such action and the likelihood of success. More common however is the service of a schedule of dilapidations at, or near to the end of a lease where the tenant has not carried out the required repairs to the building. The Schedule of Dilapidations should be drawn up by the Landlord’s surveyor to accurately reflect the terms of the lease but at the same time, landlords should be sure to include everything to which they are entitled. A J Hodge Associates have considerable experience in preparing both costed and uncosted schedules of dilapidations to reflect the full extent of justified repair required, A J Hodge Associates can help landlords maximise the levels achieved from their dilapidations claim whilst complying fully with dilapidations protocol.
Dilapidations are a complex and contentious aspect of the landlord and tenant relationship. No two dilapidations claims can be identical because no two buildings are exactly the same, nor will the lease covenants or other circumstances necessarily be similar either. It therefore follows that a tenant is always prudent to seek the advice of a Chartered Building Surveyor ideally before contracting into a new lease, or certainly when served with a schedule of dilapidations in respect of an existing or historic lease.
A schedule of dilapidations often comes as a shock to a tenant who sees the works deemed necessary and the costs associated as being highly excessive for the size and condition of the unit. In most circumstances however the breaches claimed and costs apportioned are valid and come about because the lease terms were not properly considered at the start of the term. Dilapidations claims can run into tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, therefore the right advice when negotiating a lease can literally ‘save a fortune’. A J Hodge Associates can advise tenants on the condition of a property before undertaking a lease, advise on the implications of the proposed repairing obligations, carry out a dilapidations assessment to determine the likely outlay at the end of the lease term and if appropriate, prepare and agree a schedule of condition of the property which may limit the future repairing liabilities of the tenant.
If your circumstances are such that you have already signed a lease and a schedule of dilapidations has been served upon you it does not mean to say that there is no negotiating stance. Dilapidations can be a complex art as opposed to a science and as such, there are many technical arguments and contradictions that can be called upon by a Chartered Building Surveyor acting on behalf of a tenant in order to negotiate a reduced settlement. At A J Hodge Associates we have extensive experience in advising tenants on how to limit liability before a lease is entered into, reduce any potential claim before the end of a lease term and in negotiating a reduced financial settlement after the lease end by employing reasoned technical arguments based upon many years of experience in dilapidations negotiations.