Getting the right advice when granting or taking on a new lease is crucially important as, without it, you may be exposed to financial liabilities that lie far beyond your expectations.

As market leaders in dilapidations, Malcolm Hollis has a wealth of experience in acting for both landlords and tenants stretching over several decades.  We deal with in excess of 1000 dilapidations instructions a year with claims ranging from £10k to £10m.  This experience, which spans across all property sectors both during and at the end of leases, puts us in a unique position.

It is our view that many of the most problematic disputes can be minimised or even eliminated if the proper advice is taken at the pre-lease stage – for instance in ensuring that agreements are appropriately documented and that lease covenants are properly drafted.

We offer a range of products tailored to landlord and tenant clients and we can also develop bespoke services to suit a particular client’s exact needs and requirements.

When advising our tenant clients, we would typically consider:

  • Is the building fit for purpose?
  • What repairs are required in the short/medium/long term, including any associated costs?
  • Are there any statutory issues affecting the tenant’s occupation?
  • Are the proposed lease terms appropriate, such as the standard of repair or when redecoration is required?
  • Could the landlord look to enforce obligations mid-term?
  • If there is an option to break, are there any onerous conditions.
  • What are the potential risks in relation to dilapidations and service charge disputes?

For landlords, our approach is different and we would typically assess:

  • Are the lease terms appropriate and relevant to the building?
  • Is a schedule of fixtures required if the building has been fully or partially fitted out, particularly if landlord and tenant’s works are completed at the same time?
  • The landlord’s obligations under an Agreement for Lease when undertaking works for a prospective tenant.
  • The tenant’s reinstatement liabilities in respect of alterations.

As buildings become ever-more technologically advanced, issues regarding services installations are both increasingly prevalent and potentially also extremely costly.  With a dedicated mechanical and electrical (M&E) team available in-house, this also enables us to incorporate specialist M&E advice as circumstances dictate to provide landlord and tenant clients with the ‘full picture’.