Most commercial leases will contain obligations for the landlord and the
tenant to be responsible for certain repairs. Quite often the tenant has to carry out most
if not all repairs but each lease will be different and must be studied carefully.
At the end of a lease it will be usual for a landlord to serve a Schedule
of Dilapidations on a tenant, listing what repairs the landlord thinks need to be done.
Sometimes, but less common, a tenant can serve a schedule on the landlord if he has
not carried his obligations.
At face value this seems a simple process but the law is complicated and a
tenant or landlord may not have to do the repairs. For example is it reasonable for
a landlord to expect a tenant to replace a roof if it is only leaking in a few places?
Can a landlord claim damages if he intends to reconstruct the building? Does
a landlord claim VAT on the building costs if he is not registered for VAT? Should
the landlord or tenant pay the surveyors fees for preparing the Schedule?