Landlord & tenant disputes

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Landlord & Tenant 

Whether freehold/leasehold disputes, i.e. blocks of flats, converted villas etc. or residential tenancies we can deal with the issues with regard to the setting up of the management companies, resolution of disputes and recovering possession.   In most cases spending some money at the start of a contractual relationship can reap rewards at the end of a relationship when issues can arise and it can turn quite nasty. Failure to draw up correct documentation at the start of the matter can incur significant costs at the end of a matter. 

Assured Shorthold Tenancies 

We can advise on and carry out the setting up of an assured shorthold tenancy for residential properties and provide all of the relevant paperwork.   Like most areas of law there is a whole raft of legislation that covers residential tenancies and it is quite important to ensure as a landlord all of your paperwork is current and up to date.  What may have been adequate last year, may not be ok this year. Failure to provide correct paperwork to your tenant could leave you open to a significant claim.   We also advise tenants on claims against their landlords.  The Assured Shorthold Tenancy document itself is a contract between the two parties and both sides must be able to understand what they are entering into.  Disputes can be solved either through the courts or ideally through pragmatic exchange of letters and phone calls etc.   This is much more cost effective than the court process.   Also we have good links with most local authorities in Devon with regard to housing standards and links with other relevant professionals.    

Residential leases 

These are often encountered in blocks of flats or big houses converted into flats/apartments.  Again understanding the terms of the lease is critical and there are quite often disputes with regard to the maintenance of the building, buildings insurance and who is liable to carry out the repairs etc.   Freeholders responsibilities are quite onerous but often they are not aware of the implications of the failure to carry out their obligations correctly.  The most common disputes with regard to residential leases relates to service charge and maintenance.   Our lawyers have quite extensive experience of dealing with issues in this field.   

Business leases 

Commercial premises leases can vary significantly as each party can effectively draft up their own agreement or rely upon standard documents.   The interpretation of standard leases can still be difficult and again failure to follow the terms can have some significant impact on businesses, for example if you wish to end your own lease by service of notice on the landlord, serving the notice one day late can have a significant impact on your business.  Payment of rent, guarantors, and breach of lease are the most common issues that arise and the sooner either party seeks advice, the sooner the issue should be able to be resolved, hopefully at a cheaper cost to both sides.    

Repossession Proceedings 

We cover repossession proceedings, for Assured Shorthold Tenancies, residential leases and commercial premises.   Each has their own separate process and it is not often clear to the lay person which route to follow or indeed how to start the process.   Much will depend upon the ultimate result that the client wishes to achieve, and our advice would be tailored to that.  In relation to residential properties if an occupier has not left when requested to do so then a court order is needed and any attempt to evict the occupier without a court order amounts to an illegal eviction which can have cost consequences against the party that carried out the unlawful eviction.   We provide advice that we believe is cost-effective and which is a good outcome for our clients.   Sometimes the opinion of other experts is required and this is given to you, giving you the best possible chance of getting the outcome you require. 

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