Negotiations aimed at narrowing differences in the case for and against a dilapidations claim would preferably include meeting in person at the property in question. It's likely that the joint surveyor will engage with both parties, or that the surveyor for each party will engage their respective clients (if representation is not joint). The goal of such negotiations would be to find agreement on a settlement figure, through establishing common ground.
Many negotiations will be held with a stipulation that parties can explore possible settlement options together in a way that doesn't impact their position on a particular subject should the dilapidations claim go to tribunal.
As a tenant or landlord at such a negotiation it should be noted that the above normal rule should be seen in a broad sense, and only by way of relevance to discussions that explore a settlement at said negotiations meetings.
At such negotiations Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors would be objective and professional at such negotiations, in full knowledge that others present may not share their views or opinions. As such, Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors will ensure that opinions can be justified.
You may also be interested in reading about the methods of alternative dispute resolution.
Offers to settle
Offers can be made through discussions, whichever the method of alternative dispute resolution, and before and during litigation.
Considerations should include:
- Has our client approved the terms of the offer and do they fully understand the effect and consequences of acceptance?
- Do Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors have the express authority to accept an offer?
- Is the offer appropriate given the terms 'subject to contract' proposed?
- If the offer is not subject to contract, what will happen when it is accepted?
- Is the offer stipulated as 'without prejudice' i.e. can it be brought up in court should it be rejected or go sour? Has this been fully explained to the client?
- Is the offer in accordance with Part 36 CPR, the Civil Procedure Rules?
- Which of the dilapidation-related disputes are being settled through this offer? Is it a part-settlement or a whole settlement?
- Does the offer include the costs of the relevant alternative dispute resolution?
- Would the offer change in circumstances such as termination of the lease?
If you'd like Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors to assist you in the negotiation of or creation of dilapidation dispute settlements, please contact us today.
If a claim for dilapidations becomes agreed by all parties, then the terms by which the agreement is made should be recorded so that, if necessary, it can be enforced in court should any party breach the terms.
Some of the below will seem common sense, however it is important to ensure that your settlement agreement contains the following in writing:
- The date
- Identification of the parties involved by name
- Identification of the relevant lease
- The Schedule of Dilapidations and Quantified Demand
- A statement to make clear that this is a full and final settlement of the claim
- A mention of each component part of the claim
- A mention of any interest and costs accrued (if appropriate)
- The date by which the agreement should be paid (if appropriate)
- The date by which works are to be carried out (if appropriate) including when the works will be inspected and signed off, accounting for 'snags'.
- The signatures of each party, or their appointed surveyor, lawyer or other agent authorised to bind the party to agreement.
- The date of signatures
The agreement should not contain:
- Any markings to suggest that it is 'without prejudice'
If you'd like Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors to look over your settlement agreement before you sign, consider contacting us today.