Most landlord and tenant relationships, whether they are for residential or commercial properties, do not encounter any problems. However, when things do go wrong it can be a difficult and lengthy process to put things right. Our property dispute solicitors have extensive experience in acting for both landlords and tenants.
Residential landlord & tenant possession actions
When the relationship has irretrievably broken down, this is normally due to the tenant being in arrears with the rent, the landlord can take action to evict the tenant. However, there are a number of potential pitfalls which affect what many perceive should be a straight forward exercise.
Legislation imposes strict rules as to the form of notices requiring possession of the property, along with the method and timing of the service of notices. Many mistakes are made in the drafting and service of these notices and extreme care is needed to avoid an application being dismissed at the hearing on a technicality.
Commercial landlord and tenant possession actions
Our expert solicitors deal with all aspects of commercial landlord and tenant possession actions, including forfeiture claims and serving notices and counter-notices relating to applications for renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act.
Forfeiture still remains a remedy available to a commercial landlord in the event of a tenant’s failure to pay rent or other breach of covenant. In certain circumstances, it is unnecessary to apply to Court to re-enter the property and forfeit the lease. We regularly use a specialist firm of certified bailiffs to forfeit without court proceedings. However, great care is needed before embarking on this course of action, as an unlawful forfeiture is likely to lead to a claim by the tenant for damages.
The term ‘dilapidations’ refers to breaches of lease covenants that relate to the condition of the property, and the process of remedying those breaches.
When embarking on a dilapidations claim, it is essential to abide by the relevant pre-action protocol provided by the Civil Procedure Rules. The intention behind the protocol is to seek to achieve a sensible compromise in order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigated disputes. Failure to comply with the Protocol can have disastrous consequences for you, particularly in relation to costs.
Service charges are fees that most leaseholders pay to cover their share of the cost of maintaining the building they live in. Service charges usually cover the costs of: repairs to shared areas and the outside of the building, such as roof, external pipes and drains.
The law relating to a landlord’s, and indeed a managing agent’s, duty to consult with tenants regarding service charges is extremely stringent and complex. A failure to consult may well result in the service charge being irrecoverable.
If you are a landlord or tenant and have concerns regarding residential or commercial service charges, please contact our specialist team. We can provide you with advice both prior to incurring costs and also subsequently, where the costs passed on as part of the service charge are in dispute.
How our solicitors can help you:
- Where possible we will seek to resolve the situation through negotiation and mediation rather than through costly court proceedings
- Advise you as to the right course of action to take in relation to claims for forfeiture and recovery of rent arrears
- Make sure all notices are served by the correct method and within the strict timeframe
- Advise you on how to hold tenant deposits
- Assist you in relation to all aspects of bringing or defending a dilapidations claim
- Use our established industry contacts in the event that you require an expert opinion