This rather antiquated term still has application to property leases of long duration. At the end of a long-term lease. the landlord is entitled, subject to various statutory provisions enabling the tenant to request a renewal at a fair rent for a further I period, to retake the property and demand that it be returned, at the tenant’s expense, to a condition consistent with that when the original lease was granted. Where the lease was of land on which the tenant has built without the express consent of the landlord, the extreme case could arise of the tenant having to demolish the building erected – in any event he would have to forfeit the building with the land. Where the lease was of both land and building, then the tenant must hand back the building in good structural condition and pay any costs incurred in restoring it to such a condition. This liability imposed by law upon the tenant is known as a Hability for dilapidations. He can counterclaim for genuine improvements made by him with the consent of the freeholder.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.
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