When things go awry between a landlord and tenant, you need to work with an experienced landlord and tenant solicitor who can act swiftly and decisively to prevent the issue from escalating and becoming disproportionately stressful, time consuming and expensive. We have decades of experience advising both landlords and tenants in connection with matters relating to private and commercial properties and will strive to settle your issue as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
“Very informative and clear. The Solicitor fully understood out requirements. Everything was completed to our satisafction in a suitable timeframe. The service and the delivery of the service was exemplary. First class from all concerned. It was apparent from the first meeting that we had chosen well in approaching Simper Law. First class knowledge and customer care at all times. Very attentative, helpful and efficient.”
What Issues Can A Landlord And Tenant Solicitor Help With?
Certain issues arise frequently between landlords and tenants. Examples of the types of matters our landlord and tenant solicitors deal with regularly include the following:
• Late Or Non-Payment Of Rent
Unsurprisingly, one of the most common causes of dispute between landlords and tenants is rent being paid late, or not paid at all. The tenant might be unable to make their rental payments due to cashflow issues or might be deliberately withholding payment as a bargaining tool to force the landlord to carry out repairs. Whilst this may seem a sensible solution to a landlord’s ongoing refusals or delays regarding repairs, it can have unforeseen consequences, particularly in the context of commercial leases, so should not be adopted as a tactic without first taking legal advice.
Another common cause of landlord and tenant disputes is dilapidations. At the end of the lease, a tenant must return the property to the landlord in the condition it was in when they arrived. If they fail to do so, the landlord may be able to claim the cost of any repairs, as well as any loss in rental income if the landlord was unable to relet the property immediately due to the tenant’s damage. Dilapidations claims can become fairly technical and often require the input of a surveyor to produce or review the Schedule of Dilapidations.
• Service Charge Disputes
A service charge is a charge made by the landlord and payable by the tenant to cover the costs incurred in maintaining the shared areas of a property. The charge usually covers expenditures such as lighting, heating, cleaning and gardening. Given the nature of service charges and the lack of control a tenant has over how they are spent, the potential for dispute is obvious. Tenants frequently raise complaints on the basis that the service charges are excessive, the services rendered are poor or the management costs unfair.
Landlord and tenant law requires prescribed notices to be served in various cases. For example, in some situations, when a tenancy ends, a tenant is automatically entitled to a new lease unless a circumstance exists that gives the landlord a right to object. If a landlord wishes to exercise that right, they must serve a notice under section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Section 25 notices must contain specific information and are subject to strict time limits, so it is crucial to take legal advice before taking this course of action. An experienced landlord and tenant solicitor will have vast experience in preparing this, and all other types of landlord and tenant notices, and is perfectly placed to ensure you adhere to all applicable legal requirements.
• Property Damage
Whilst some tenants might damage their rental property intentionally, most are responsible and respectful, and take reasonable care of it. Accidents happen, however, and, when they do, a landlord can be left with a substantial repair bill or even unable to relet the property until the damage is remedied. Disputes often arise over who caused the damage and who is responsible for paying for it to be fixed. Sometimes, the landlord may look to the tenant to make good their loss of rental income for the period during which they were unable to have tenants in the property due to the damage.
When Should You Instruct A Landlord And Tenant Solicitor?
Landlord and tenant law is complex, difficult to navigate and littered with pitfalls for the unwary. If you fail to comply with the legal requirements applicable to your chosen course of action, or with the provisions of your Lease, you may severely prejudice your position and be precluded from proceeding as you would like. Accordingly, you should take advice from a landlord and tenant solicitor prior to taking any steps in connection with a property, to ensure your conduct is beyond reproach.
If it becomes apparent that a dispute between you and your landlord or tenant is likely, it is sensible to act as quickly as possible to prevent it from escalating and becoming a severe problem. By taking advice from a landlord and tenant solicitor at an early stage, you have the best possible chance of resolving the issue amicably with the other party, without needing to seek recourse from the Court.
“I was delighted by the prompt response and the friendly helpful service we received. Thank you.”