19 May 2008

Dilapidations' Fault Lines

Can an initiative from RICS stop surveyors from making fraudulent claims? Earlier this year, Edward Shaw, director of building consultancy at Savills, came across what he believed was a clumsy attempt at dilapidations fraud. A landlord’s surveyor was claiming £1m for the cost of repairs to a building formerly occupied by a tenant represented by Shaw. A quick check on the landlord’s own website confirmed the building was to be extensively refurbished later this year, which meant most of the repairs were unnecessary and the tenant was not legally obliged to pay up. The claim was eventually settled at less than £200,000.