RICS offers a dilapidations scheme, specifically designed to allow quick and economic resolution of lease-end dilapidations disputes. The scheme is designed to put both parties on an equal footing, to keep costs down and to allow experienced parties to be represented by their usual advisers.

When deciding whether or not to use the Dilapidations Scheme, landlord and tenants should bear in mind that if they do not resolve the matter by negotiation or any other form of alternative dispute resolution, they may end up in the courts which may result in a more expensive procedure than envisaged under the Dilapidations Scheme.

Principles of the scheme

  • To ensure both Parties are on an equal footing irrespective of their respective financial standing, experience of property disputes or access to advisers.
  • To discourage exaggeration by either Party at any stage of the dispute.
  • To keep the costs of the Dilapidations Scheme limited and proportionate.
  • To avoid lengthy disputes
  • To assist the Parties in their compliance with the Dilapidations Protocols (if applicable to the dispute)
  • To encourage the Parties and their advisors to achieve settlement of the dispute in advance of the Dilapidations Scheme being enforceable by either Party.

Application to the Scheme

If applicable to the dispute, the Dilapidations Protocol anticipates that landlords and tenants will consider resolution of the dispute via Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and they should attempt to agree a suitable method of ADR. Our scheme is considered to be a suitable method of ADR.

Under the Scheme, the appointed Independent Expert will make his or her own investigations and will rely on personal knowledge and experience to reach a decision. The Parties may feel they can rely on this expertise and so not instruct their own professional representatives, which will keep their costs down. However, the Scheme allows them to use their professional representatives and submit expert evidence if they wish.

Once both Parties have signed up to the Dilapidations Scheme, if one Party then fails to cooperative, the Scheme enables the Independent Expert to reach a decision but also ensures that he or she will be able to consider the representations made by the Party who does cooperate. 

The procedure under which the Dilapidations Scheme will operate is set out in the Dilapidations Scheme Rules, these are available in the Dilapidations Dispute Resolution Scheme information guide, available to download on this page. 

To apply for the appointment of an Independent Expert under the Dilapidations Scheme, please download the application form.

The regulatory functions of RICS relating to Dispute Resolution Service are led and overseen by the Standards and Regulation Board (SRB).

Contact the DRS team