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Pitfalls for Tenants Vacating Premises - Early Preparation to Avoid Nasty Surprises

If a tenant wishes to vacate a property either at the end of the contractual term of a tenancy or by exercising a break clause in their lease, they should begin to prepare early in order to avoid either failing to terminate or incurring a claim by the landlords for dilapidations.

They should ensure the following:

Any necessary notice is served on the landlord by the required date in the correct form and to the correct address, the form of the notice may be specified in the lease, some leases are specific particularly about notices to exercise an option to determine.

Vacant possession must be given on the date of termination, it may be necessary to remove improvement works or alterations carried out during the term of the lease if these could be classed tenants fittings. All chattels should be removed. 

It should be ensured that covenants in the lease regarding repairs, decorations or reinstatement of alterations are adhered to. This will include not only the original lease but any subsequent agreements to make alterations.

Failure to take the necessary action may result in the landlord making a claim against the outgoing tenant for repairs, decoration or reinstatement of works carried out by the tenant. In some cases failure to provide vacant possession or carry out the necessary works may result in the tenancy continuing, with the ongoing responsibility for payment of rent, rates and outgoings for a building which is no longer required.

It is therefore necessary to plan early, take good advice and enter into an early dialogue with the landlord.

Added: 08/09/2017

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