Dilapidations & Property Disputes

Looking for settle a property dispute?

Commercial leases are usually clear on the tenant’s dilapidations obligations. These will include the obligations to repair, decorate, clean and maintain mechanical and electrical systems. Landlords expect and are entitled to have their property kept in the state of repair stipulated by the covenants of the lease. Where a tenant has failed to comply with their repairing obligations, a landlord may bring a claim for damages, also known as a “dilapidations” claim, against the tenant for breach of contract. The issue of dilapidations can arise during or at the end of the lease.

When advising in connection with dilapidations our members at Mercantile Barristers are able to guide landlords and tenants alike on; the obligations pursuant to the lease; the obligations set out by common law; whether caps can be imposed on the landlord’s ability to recover damages pursuant to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. If matters become contentious, our barristers can advise on the Pre-Action Protocol for claims for damages in relation to the physical state of commercial property at the termination of a tenancy.

Our members at Mercantile Barristers are Public Access Trained and are happy to be consulted by and accept instructions directly from professionals and discerning private clients at any time (for direct access barristers). To book a consultation with one of our Direct Access Barristers in London please call us and speak to our clerks who will find the best-placed barrister for you.


Historically, barristers in England & Wales could only accept instructions from solicitors and could not be consulted directly by members of the public. Barristers were considered to be too expert and too specialist to deal directly with lay clients.

It was left to a solicitor to first determine whether the legal problem that has arisen required the involvement of the expert barrister. If so, it was only the solicitor that could instruct the expert barrister on behalf of the lay client. Using a medical analogy, it is akin to having to see your GP before being referred to the Specialist Consultant.


In this traditional mode of operation the lay client continues to pay for his solicitor while also paying for his expert barrister. While this has always been the case, it is unnecessary in certain modern circumstances and inevitably commercial pressures and modernity has brought a change. Professionals such as company directors, agents, architects, surveyors, construction engineers and other specialist consultants may not require hand-holding by a solicitor in order to consult the expert barrister about their case.


A change in the law in 2004 allowed barristers, who have undertaken additional training, to advise clients without the need for a solicitor and listed below are some of the reasons why it is advantageous to instruct a direct access barrister.



Have Found Mercantile, To Be Honest, Diligent And Willing To Go The Extra Mile With Their Advice.
Linda S