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Dilapidations claims and consecutive leases: Problems and possible solutions
This paper addresses the additional issues that may arise in a terminal dilapidations claim, where the expired lease is the last in a chain of two or more successively renewed leases. Analysis suggests that the most difficult of those issues concerns the tenant’s obligation to reinstate alterations, where the legal position is both complex and arguably inconsistent with the law regarding the tenant’s covenant to yield up the premises in good repair. Where legal issues of this kind impede settlement of a dilapidations claim by negotiation, court proceedings are not the only — or necessarily the best — way to proceed. Arbitration or expert determination can be a more cost-effective solution in many cases, but is under-used.
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Anthony Tanney BA, MJur, FCIArb is a barrister, practising from Falcon Chambers, London. He is the co-author of Tanney & Travers on Distress for Rent, and a former lecturer in land law and constitutional law at the University of Durham.
Catherine Taskis BA, BCL, FCIArb is a barrister, practising from Falcon Chambers. She is a co-editor of Muir Watt & Moss on Agricultural Holdings and sits as a deputy district judge of the county court.