Surveyors acting for Landlords in assessing end of lease dilapidations must follow the Dilapidations Protocol from 1 January 2012, or face penalties if they find themselves contesting a claim in court.

The Dilapidations Protocol has been in existence since 2002 and is intended to avoid Landlords making inflated claims for damages from tenants at the end of a lease, or to prevent claims for dilapidations becoming adversarial and ending in court.

Until now the protocol has not been obligatory, but with effect from 1 January 2012 it has been adopted as a formal pre-action protocol under the Civil Procedures Rules.  This means that any surveyor who finds themselves in court following a disputed termination of lease dilapidations claims will need to have followed the protocol in full or face potential penalties.

“The Dilapidations Protocol now has teeth,” says James Burgoyne, Director, Brunel Professional Risks. “Surveyors must make sure they follow its requirements in full, if they don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of a professional negligence claim.”

A summary of The Dilapidations Protocol has been published by solicitors, Berwin Leighton Paisner, here.