UK dilapidations expert speaks out to building surveyors in new paper

One of the UK’s leading experts on dilapidations is raising awareness of the importance of the valuation process within dilapidations disputes in a new paper, published in a prestigious national journal.

Addressing the property industry in a new paper, David Gilbert, expert on dilapidations and Head of Lambert Smith Hampton’s Oxford office, aims to solve an industry-wide issue concerning dilapidations.

The new paper, published in the national Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation tackles the problem that building surveyors, who advise clients at the outset of dilapidations disputes, often do not understand the positive role that valuers can play during these disputes.

Within the paper, ‘Diminution valuations for building surveyors’, David, who has over 35 years experience within the property industry uses his vast experience of dealing with diminution valuations to help the building surveying team better understand the valuation process and the role of the valuer. To emphasise his argument he draws on two recent court cases in the Technology and Construction Court (TCC).

Dilapidations, repairs required during or at the end of a property tenancy or lease, can often raise disputes between landlords and tenants if the tenant does not carry out any repairs needed to the property at the end of the lease, thereby breaching the repairing covenant included in the lease.

Speaking on the paper, David says: “It is a common problem within the property industry that the valuation process is not as well understood as it could be with relation to dilapidations disputes.

“To assess the full damages for breaching the repairing obligations of the lease, both the cost of works and any decrease in value of the landlord’s reversionary interest (an interest that reverts to the landlord at lease end) need to be considered.

“My paper gives guidance on how the building surveying team can use and assist the valuer to get a more accurate assessment of the value of the landlord’s loss during these disputes.

“By writing this paper and through lecturing extensively around the country, I hope to raise further awareness of this point within the property industry.”

The paper was first delivered at the 2012 RICS Dilapidations Conference. It was subsequently selected for the Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation for Summer 2013.

The Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation is the major peer-reviewed journal for building surveyors, structural engineers and other professionals concerned with building condition, defects, valuation, repair and maintenance.

Published quarterly, the Journal is read by national building surveyors, structural engineers, valuers, building services engineers, architects, contractors and lawyers.

David Gilbert works for national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton as head of its Oxford office and national dilapidations advisor. David is a chartered surveyor, chartered arbitrator and accredited mediator. He is also a RICS registered valuer and specialist in diminution/S18 valuations. Aside from writing about dilapidations, David lectures across the country. He has been a key speaker on the effects of the Energy Act on commercial property and dilapidations disputes.