Survey of a Pub

Beware of Dilapidations


Independent Advice

If you are looking for commercial property, whether it is freehold or leasehold, we would recommend a survey as this will prevent dilapidations claims in the long run.   We can provide independent help and advice on all types of commercial properties including offices, warehouses, shops, pub and churches.  For freehold purchases we will provide a Commercial Building Survey and for leasehold purchases we will prepare a Schedule of Condition together with a Property Report.

Please Free phone on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with one of our surveyors.

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Property Report and Schedule of Condition for a Pub

In this case, we were instructed to prepare a Property Report and Schedule of Condition for a pub.  The Property Report gives advice on what we consider are the key property issues.  The Schedule of Condition that is sent as a separate document relates to the lease and helps protect against future liabilities from dilapidations claims if legally appended to the lease.


Dilapidations protocol

Protocol gives guidance, and it is only guidance, that a Dilapidations notice is served by the landlord or landlords chartered surveyor 56 days after the end of a lease and then responded to within a set time by the tenant or the tenant's chartered surveyor.


A brief description of the pub

We believe the pub was built in the 1950’s.  It is a local pub rather than a destination pub with good outside areas and reasonable parking.  The property is fairly large although it slightly surprised us that it did not have better kitchen facilities.

We would term this as a ‘slipper pub’, i.e. one which you can walk around in your slippers. It’s everything a pub should be, with a large public/games bar, a large lounge bar and sitting out areas.  Interestingly it has really lovely accommodation for the owners.  Our client is a black cab driver who wanted a change of career and has decided to run a pub.

Full Repairing and Insuring Lease

In this case the property was being let on a standard Full Repairing and Insuring Lease (known as a FRI lease).   A Full Repairing and Insuring lease normally has four sections known as covenants which we call the four ‘R’s:

Regulations Statutory

There is often a further yield up covenant/clause should you wish to leave before the end of the term of the lease.  These clauses are often referred to as covenants.

Covenant Defined:
The laws and rules within a Lease that are actionable via the legal system.

Condition of the building not up to Full Repairing and Insuring standard

The condition of this building was not to a current Full Repairing and Insuring lease standard which means any work that is not carried out would become the responsibility of our client from day one.

Existing dilapidations liability

We were advised that a dilapidations has been served on the existing leaseholder; if they do not carry out the work then the liability is transferred to the new leaseholder, our client.    Most leases have clauses in them which allow the landlord to charge all costs associated with a dilapidations to the leaseholder.

Dilapidations defined: 
Dilapidations is a legal claim against you with regard to the covenants within your lease which you have not kept to the standard required by the lease.  The covenants typically divide into Repair, Redecoration, Reinstatement and Statutory Regulations. Your Legal Advisor should fully inform you about Dilapidations claims.

You may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site, both of which we have been advised are very helpful!

Lightweight dilapidations

In this case we believe the landlord had served a lightweight dilapidations.  By the term lightweight we mean that the landlord is entitled to more however we believe they have taken a tactical decision as the lease is only part way finished and they wish to have a new tenant in to fully exercise their rights to dilapidations.  We identified several property issues which we included within our Property Report and Schedule of Condition that were not mentioned in the Dilapidations that the pub company carried out. We believe the landlord is either Enterprise Inns or Punch Taverns.

Problems identified in our survey

Our survey identified several issues, below is a brief overview of some of the issues that we found which ultimately would become our clients responsibility at the end of the lease.  Together they would add up to a substantial dilapidations claim by the landlord.

Flat Roofs
Flat roofs

The pub had a couple of flat roofs.  Whilst some of the roofs were relatively new, they looked flat so they will have a limited life.  Ironically and interestingly flat roofs were never intended to be flat but typically were intended to have falls of fifteen to twenty two degrees.  The work looks to have been carried out relatively recently therefore it is a shame that a fall was not added to the flat roof.

Insulation to flat roof

At the end of a lease our client would be liable for completely re-roofing the flat roof.  Another concern we have is that Building Regulations now require where major flat roof work is carried out like this, to add insulation.

Deterioration to timber windows

The timbers windows did not look to have been maintained for a long time and were deteriorating with bare timber visible.

Cast iron gutters and downpipes rusting
Rust to junction of downpipe and gutter

The cast iron gutters and downpipes were rusting and needed repair and redecoration or replacement.

Client feedback

In this case after the client had read our report and following discussions with our surveyor he is now considering pulling out as he feels the liability is just too much.  This is particularly important in this instance as there is only a short part of the lease remaining and the lease is excluded from the Landlord and Tenant Act, which means that they don’t have a right to continue on with the lease.  He was both relieved and delighted that our survey report had ultimately saved him in the region of £45,000.

Other articles that may be of interest

We have written many surveying articles which may be of interest to you:

Interim Dilaps on a Pub Lease

Commercial Leisure

Review of a Schedule of Condition of a Pub in Gloucestershire

Taking on a Lease of a Public House with Major Repairs Required - A Review

Compare our website and compare our surveys

We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years on every age, type and style of property across the UK.  We encourage clients to have a look at our website to see for yourself the quality of our website, articles and our Building Survey reports.

We can email you examples of our building surveys

If you are interested in having a Structural Survey carried out please free phone us for a friendly chat on 0800 298 5424.   We can then arrange for example building surveys to be emailed to you.

Meet with your Surveyor during the Survey

We highly recommend that if possible you meet the surveyor at the property during the survey so he can talk you through any problems.  If this is not possible then you can always speak to our surveyors after you have read the report to talk through anything you would like further clarification on.

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We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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