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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have just been landed with a £50k plus bill for dilapidations

Resolved Question:

I have just been landed with a £50k plus bill for dilapidations following the surrender of a lease on my 17th century village pub to the countries major pubco.
There was never any survey or dilaps schedule in place prior to my taking on a 5 year agreement some 4+ years ago. I spent £16k plus on renovations & repairs in the last year alone and have had to give it up on account of medical grounds for both myself and my partner after failing to find a buyer after it had been on the market for 2 years.
They are now threatening to take me to court for the money and I don`t have a proverbial pot to P in and am completely dependant on my state pension, further more I have sunk every single penny I have ever had into the business.
I know for a fact that they have spent almost nothing on the pub since they obtained it some 12/13 years ago, and just to rub salt in the wound they have let it out, revamped and re-furbished at an annual rent of £12,500 less than I was having to pay. My rent constituted in excess of 25% of my gross weekly take for the last year, and all this after relieving me of more than £80k in the last 6 months trading by way of rent, wet rent which included a bit of dray, but excluding their cut of the machine rental fees which I figure amounted to another £20 per week.
Is there a chance I can get Legal Aid or do I have to defend myself in Court?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know whether you have any assets?
Customer:

I drive a 16 year old car which I am in the throws of handing over ownership to my common law partner of 30 years, similarly we share ownership of a static caravan on a retirement park home

Customer:

Apart from the aforestated I have practically no other assets other than an old laptop and the clothes I stand up in

Customer:

I`m sorry but I have not received your answer

Alex Watts : Sorry another expert had locked the question so I could not reply.
Alex Watts : How much is the caravan worth?
Customer:

It is a mobile home static van probably worth about £20k

Alex Watts : Have they had a survey done?
Alex Watts : do you dispute the dilapidations ?
Customer:

Yes but only 4 months prior to my departure & non prior to my moving in. I have requested a copy of the independent survey report but all I`ve been given is their dilapidations report drawn from the survey.

Customer:

I most certainly do dispute the fact that they want me to refurbish parts of the building that have not been touched for years and to replace certain items that were completely functional

Customer:

I have not received your answer

Customer:

All you have done is to ask me questions you have not actually given me any answers!

Alex Watts :

Yes I need to know the answers to the questions before I can tell you what I think

Alex Watts :

You need to ask for a copy of the full report and point to the fact that if they are seeking to rely on the report it will be a discloseable document and MUST be forwarded now, otherwise you will seek a Court order.

Alex Watts :

As Landlord it is for them to prove dilapidations.

Alex Watts :

What they can't prove of course is if the property has deteriorated.

Alex Watts :

They had no survey before you moved in.

Alex Watts :

Write when you are asking for a copy of the report and ask them to confirm this.

Alex Watts :

If so then they would need to prove in Court that the property has dilapidated and you caused it

Alex Watts :

I can't see how they can do this if there is no original report.

Alex Watts :

How is a Judge expected to compare and see what is and is not caused by you?

Alex Watts :

In any event even if it does go to Court and goes against you, you can go bankrupt.

Alex Watts :

If you have no assets then there is nothing the other side can do about it.

Alex Watts :

You are unlikely to lose your home given the very low value.

Alex Watts :

But the starting point is asking for disclosure, its a discloseable document

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No I think you have confirmed my own thoughts and provided as much information as I can hope for at this stage of the game.

Alex Watts :

Yes.

Alex Watts :

They must have evidence.

Customer:

Thank-you and a Happy New Year

Alex Watts :

Happy New Year to you too. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today - the button should be at the bottom of the screen. If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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