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Can dilapidations be improved?
‘Dilapidations’ is the name given to the process of recompense for breaches of those lease terms that relate to the condition of the property. The most common form of dilapidations disputes occur at or after the end of a tenant's lease, and it is that scenario which this paper focuses on. The paper suggests improvement in three areas of dilapidations practice and procedure: (1) Unless both parties agree otherwise, that a hybrid form of Expert Determination be used to settle all dilapidations disputes. (2) That lease drafting be improved, so that the demise descriptions are used to describe the demised premises. (3) That surveyor training and knowledge be improved.
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Jon Rowling FRICS is a chartered building surveyor, independent expert, mediator, conciliator and arbitrator. He is Technical Partner of Tuffin Ferraby Taylor LLP with responsibility for dilapidations, service charge and dispute resolution services. He is lead author of the current RICS Dilapidations (England and Wales) Guidance Note, chaired the RICS Dilapidations Forum Steering Group (2010–15), was lead author of the RICS Dilapidations Dispute Resolution Scheme and is a member of the RICS Scotland Dispute Resolution Professional Group Board.