Terminal Dilapidations – A Practical Approach


At the end of a lease, a tenant is usually obliged to return the premises in good repair. What does that actually mean for a tenant and how should a landlord establish its loss? This session looks at:-

  • Whether the property should be returned fit for for immediate letting – the problems of improvements, upgrades and the current market
  • The impact of the Energy Act 2011, MEES and statutory compliance clauses – do they help the landlord?
  • The courts approach to diminution evidence: Cargiant v LB Hammersmith & Fulham; Thakrar v Patel
  • Old buildings, old lease – is there any loss?

Learning Objectives

After this session, the delegates will understand:

  • When improvements and upgrades fall within the tenant’s repairing covenant
  • Why statutory compliance clauses may fall short in terms of Energy Act compliance – and the impact on repair
  • The court’s current approach to the evidence needed to establish diminution
  • The need for a practical, alternative approach to dealing with dilapidations in old buildings with long leases



Sarah Thompson-Copsey is a former property litigation partner at the firm now known as Dentons, where she acted for and advised many blue chip retail clients, developers and institutions. She is now a freelance legal trainer, lecturing and writing regularly on commercial property topics, with an emphasis on avoiding & resolving disputes. Sarah also works as an independent auditor of legal practices.

Sarah is co-author of Tenants’ Pre-emption Rights: A landlord’s guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (Jordans) and Mixed Use and Residential Tenants’ Rights: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and Leasehold Enfranchisement, (Elsevier 2009). She is also on the property consultation board of Practical Law Company and a site editor for the Property Law website at www.propertylawuk.net.

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