Clients need advice in a variety of property problems, from commercial property disputes to residential possession proceedings.
Commercial Property Disputes
Commercial property transactions and relationships can result in disputes of a broad nature, including:
- Non payment of rent and action by the landlord to recover it.
- Recovery of possession by forfeiture, after a qualifying breach of covenant by the tenant.
- Termination of agreement by notice and contested lease renewals.
- Tenant or landlord insolvency.
- Eviction of trespassers.
- Land Tribunal disputes.
Where a relationship breaks down or a dispute arises, landlords need to act carefully in the way they deal with their tenants. For example, a common mistake made by landlords is to demand payment of rent arrears and to threaten forfeiture in default of payment. Demanding rent is very likely to be held by the court as waiving the right of the landlord to forfeit the lease.
Both commercial landlords and tenants need to take legal advice before entering into a lease. Ideally, the lease should be drafted by a professional, to ensure that the terms between the parties are clear and unambiguous.
Our factsheet (Tough times call for tough measures) explains the options open to landlords faced with tenants who are not paying their rent and/ or not fulfilling their lease obligations.
Residential Property Disputes
Problem tenants can be an unwelcome issue for landlords. Landlords can seek to avoid problem tenants by vetting potential tenants carefully, by obtaining references and performing credit checks where possible.
Landlords are only able to obtain possession from a residential tenant in occupation, with an order of the court. It is important that the correct procedure is followed to ensure that possession is obtained, as technical defects in the notice or proceedings can defeat or delay a claim. Appropriate steps will also be necessary to recover the rent arrears and costs. Click for further information about residential possession proceedings along with details of our fixed fees..
Neighbour disputes may arise where:
- There is a disagreement as to where the boundary line dividing the properties actually lies
- A neighbour wishes to build or erect something on or near to the boundary line.
- A “nuisance” claim, where something from the neighbouring land affects the other neighbour’s land, ie overhanging tree branches, flooding from the land of one neighbour to that of another.
- Covenants and easements giving rights and obligations over each other’s land, ie a right to access.
Neighbour disputes should be resolved sensitively and proportionately between the parties rather than engaging in entrenched litigation.