Property disputes and litigation solicitors

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Property litigation solicitors

Property disputes are common both in the residential and commercial context. We can advise and assist whether your property litigation issue relates to commercial property or residential property, freehold or leasehold.

You may be a long-term tenant who owns a flat or a house as leasehold, and has difficulties getting the landlord to undertake repairs, or a commercial tenant facing excessive service charges – the key is to stay active and not be afraid to deal with the issues.

Landlord solicitors in London

We advise both landlords and tenants but we are experienced and well known for acting for landlords of all kinds from institutional through to private landlords with a small portfolio or even single commercial property. Property disputes are often complex and technical. Mistakes by Landlords often prove very costly, so it is always important to have specialist landlord & tenant lawyers representing you.

Types of property litigation

Our solicitors have experience and expertise in all aspects of property litigation. Often negotiation, arbitration or mediation are the best way forward but where court litigation is needed, a good solicitor, procedure and tactics are vital.

Commercial lease disputes are the most common. Common property disputes include :-

  • Disputes relating to property alterations, planning, party walls and boundary disputes.
  • Major works disputes.
  • Rights of way and rights of light.
  • Adverse possession claims.
  • Disputes over property management and with property managers.
  • Fraud or misrepresentation claims with conveyancing.
  • Disputes between property owners regarding sale or otherwise.

Commercial lease disputes

Most common lease disputes involve problems associated with:

  • Rent review clauses;
  • Lease renewals;
  • Unpaid rent;
  • Lease forfeiture;
  • Disputes about the condition of the premises:
  • Service charges; and
  • Maintenance (repairs).

Service charge disputes

Service charges are one of the most frequent causes of property disputes. The main reason behind this is due to the fact that there is a potential conflict of interest between the landlord and the tenant, whether in residential or commercial context. Naturally, the tenant will want to pay for the most affordable contractors to carry out the maintenance duties. The landlord, being afraid of the quality of service, may oppose the tenant’s choice of contractor and ask to contract the work with more reputable and expensive contractor, to ensure that the level of service is better.

Although, it might seem quite easy to resolve at first, major and costly litigation can follow if a mutually agreeable consensus cannot be achieved. Call our lawyers to discuss your case.

Rent arrears

Falling behind with your rent can have severe consequences; it may not only lead to disputes over your lease but also ultimately result in eviction, court action and bailiff intervention. If you know you may have difficulties in paying your rent, it is vital to let your landlord know before the actual non-payment. Most property leases will include relevant provisions entitling landlords to take certain actions after the rent has been unpaid for a set period of time (i.e. one month).

Dilapidations disputes

The first point to take on board as Landlord is to consider the issue of dilapidations before the end of the lease.

If the tenant has no intention to seek to renew or extend landlords should have 6 months and possibly more to get a surveyor into the premises to inspect and to begin the process of planning and possibly negotiating with the tenant.

Liability for dilapidations may also fall upon guarantors or others and not just the current tenant.

Tenants should be aware of the potential for expensive dilapidations liability right from the outset. If you are the original tenant, ensure that you get a schedule of condition at the outset and photographs, perhaps consider negotiating a cap and in all respects be clear. Don’t assume you won’t be impacted and/or that dilapidations won’t be costly. They can be very expensive.

It is a common mistake for tenants to overlook or underestimate dilapidations issue when exercising a break clause in a lease. Dilapidations may well still apply and you may lose your right to exercise a break option if there are issues or disputes over dilapidations.

 If you need help or advice on any property dispute, we can help. Get in touch with our specialist solicitor for property litigation,  Dalia Ross. 

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