Landlord & tenant (lease) disputes

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.

Dilapidations

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

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:

Meet the team

Robert Twining

Partner & Team Leader

Mustafa Sidki

Solicitor

Robert Twining leads the firm's real estate litigation practice and has considerable expertise in landlord and tenant disputes. Sources note his ability to identify the key issues of a case and advise accordingly.


Chambers UK 2016

Practice head Robert Twining advises on the full scope of property litigation and specialises in Japanese knotweed. Clients say: "He is approachable but has a core of steel, which makes him a good man to have on your side."


Chambers UK 2015

Robert Twining is a respected practitioner handling the full range of property litigation. He frequently advises blue-chip clients and has further niche expertise in the control of Japanese Knotweed. Sources describe him as "excellent and very knowledgeable."


Chambers UK 2017