Friday 8 May 2009

For Jack Straw, the meaning of Dilapidations

This is the written excuse provided by Jack Straw when requesting that the taxpayer buy him new central heating.

gas fires, a gas heater (in one bedroom) which no longer works and has to be replaced, a storage heater, and a number of electric radiators....... I would like to replace the whole lot with a proper central heating system.

“On looking at the Green Book it would seem that both replacements come well within the category of 'making good dilapidations’. But before getting quotations I would be glad to know that this expenditure would be within the ACA [Additional Costs Allowance].”

The Green book mentions dilapidations five times, and it does so in the context of ensuring that only repairs are paid for and that improvements are not funded by the taxpayer. There is nothing in the Green book to define dilapidations, so we are left with the definition used by Lawyers every day of the week in every town in the country - that a dilapidation is an expense paid to make good items which have been damaged during the tenancy to a state of "good repair" .. anything beyond that is "betterment". Indeed, the Green book to which he refers says as much - it specifically excludes "The capital cost of repairs which go beyond
making good dilapidations and enhance the property"

Jack straw is a Barrister. He should be well aware of what dilapidations are, and what is betterment. The Green book to which he refers in his claim takes him no further. The intent is clear, and the claim (whether the fees office agreed to pay it or not) is not within the rules. To describe it, and the other conduct, as "made in good faith" shows him to be either a very poor Lawyer or an outright liar.

1 comment:

JS said...

Honesty is not my strongest suit.