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Schedule of Condition

“I am about to lease some offices. However, the space is in poor condition and I will have to carry out repairs. How much will I be expected to do myself?”

As a tenant, you will be expected to sign a lease that includes an obligation to keep the premises in good – and possibly substantial – repair and condition. It is a tenant’s responsibility, at the end of the term, to deliver property in line with the lease agreements.

I suggest that the tenant’s repair obligation in the lease specifically provides that there is no need to keep the premises in any better state of repair and condition than at the outset. However, steps should be taken to avoid disputes at the end of the term over the condition of the property. For example, a schedule of condition or photographic record should be prepared and agreed with the landlord, which can then be attached to the lease.

It is then up to you to carry out whatever repairs you consider necessary, on the basis that you need only hand the property back at the end of the term in the same condition as when you first took it.

If your lease is subject to a rent review, there is even more reason to assume a lesser obligation. Any work that goes beyond what is required to keep the premises in its current state may then become tenant’s improvements. This means that the landlord may not be able to charge you more rent on review for the enhanced state of the premises that you have paid for and created.

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