Our Residential Landlord Disputes Expertise

Ending Residential Tenancies and Possession Proceedings

If you want to obtain possession of your property then we can advise you on the type of tenancy (such as a Rent Act tenancy, Assured Tenancy or Assured Shorthold Tenancy) or licence that exists and the appropriate notices that need to be served to terminate the tenancy.

If the tenant does not vacate then we will prepare and issue the Court proceedings for you and will guide you through the process until you obtain an Order for Possession.

Once the Order for Possession has been received, we will advise you on the enforcement procedure and will instruct the bailiffs on your behalf to obtain possession of the property.

Trespasser or Squatter Disputes

If you have trespassers on your property, then we recognise that you need to act promptly to evict them.

We can prepare the application to the Court for a Possession Order and all the witness evidence. We can then arrange for the claim to be served either by attaching copies of it at the property, posting the documents through the letterbox in a transparent envelope or placing stakes on the land and attaching the documents to the stakes.

We will then attend the hearing and deal with the enforcement of the Possession Order by instructing the bailiffs on your behalf.

Breaches of the Lease

If your tenant has breached the covenants contained in their lease, then there are a number of options you can take to enforce the covenants.

The landlord could apply to the Court for specific performance requiring the tenant to comply with the covenants and request an injunction and/or damage. Alternatively, the landlord may want to forfeit the lease. There are strict requirements if the landlord wants to forfeit a long lease of residential premises which are set out below.

We can advise you on all your options and guide you as to the best course of action for you based on your circumstances and the outcome you want to achieve.

Forfeiting a Lease

A forfeiture provision allows the landlord to end the lease before the lease expires because of the tenant’s breach of covenant.

For residential premises, the landlord will normally have to go to Court to be able to forfeit the lease. Court proceedings must be used if the premises are occupied.

Notices must be served on the tenant before proceedings can be issued. If the landlord is seeking to forfeit the lease for non-payment of rent, service charge or administration charge then the amount must exceed £350 or have been outstanding for more than three years.

In addition, the breach must have been admitted by the tenant or finally determined by the Tribunal or Court.

We can advise you and guide you through the whole process if you are considering forfeiting a long lease.

Service Charge Disputes

As a landlord it is important that you know what your obligations are in the lease. You need to know what services you are to provide and the process to recover the charges from the tenant.

You are not obliged to provide any service that is not expressly set out in the lease and the tenant is not obliged to pay for anything that is not covered in the lease.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the contractual provision then you need to ensure the service charge is correctly demanded and that you have complied with the statutory requirements. Failure to comply can invalidate the demand and may mean that the tenant can withhold payment.

If you are thinking about carrying out major works to the premises or entering into long-term agreements (over 12 months) for services, then you need to consider whether you need to consult with your tenants. If you fail to do this then you will only be able to recover a small, limited sum from the tenant.

Even if you manage to comply with all the above, there is always a risk that a tenant will apply to the Tribunal for a determination that the service charges are unreasonable.

We can advise you on the contractual provisions, the statutory regime and the consultation process to ensure that you have all the procedures and processes in place. However, we can also defend any applications the tenants make to the Tribunal for example, alleging that the service charge is unreasonable.

Rent Arrears and Service Charge Recovery

If your tenant has failed to pay their rent or service charge, then we can take steps to recover it for you. There are several options available including drawing down on a rent deposit, pursuing a guarantor, liaising with the mortgage company and issuing Court proceedings.

We will advise you on your options and will discuss with you the most effective way to recover the arrears.

Enforcing a Charge

If you have a charge against a residential property, then we can advise you on enforcing your rights under the charge including the right to sell the property or appoint a Receiver in the event of default.

Restrictive Covenants and Rights of Way

Our experts can advise on any disputes relating to restrictive covenants or rights of way.

We can advise whether the restrictive covenants are enforceable and, if so, apply to the Court for an injunction and or damages.

We can also advise on any disputes regarding rights of way including any interference with your right or disputes concerning the repair and maintenance of a right of way.

Lease Extension/Purchase of the Freehold

We regularly advise landlords on the statutory notices served by tenants to either extend their leasehold interest in the property or purchase the freehold.

We can advise you on all the options available, guide you through the process and prepare and serve any statutory counter-notices on your behalf.

We also have an experienced team of non-contentious solicitors who specialise in residential property who we work alongside to ensure that the necessary documentation is put in place.

Right of First Refusal

If you are considering making a disposal of your interest in a building that contains flats then by law you must offer it to the tenants before offering it on the open market. Failure to do so is criminal offence.

We regularly advise landlords in relation to their obligations and can guide you through the process which will initially involve serving notices on the tenants.

The Myerson Approach

At Myerson, we understand that you do not want to be embroiled in costly and lengthy litigation as this will affect the income you are receiving from the property. Therefore, we aim to resolve disputes as quickly as possible. There are instances where you have no option other than to proceed through the Court process.

If you find yourself in this situation then our experts have a wealth of experience and will be able to guide you through the process and fight your corner for you.

We recognise that the legal answer does not always provide the best outcome to the dispute so we always consider whether there is a more innovative and creative approach to achieve the best outcome for you.

Myerson has a team of experts from across our contentious and non-contentious departments who work together to ensure that the approach to the dispute is the best for each client.

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Residential Landlord Case Studies

Case Study 1

Client Intro: X1 Lettings

Our client is involved in residential lettings including the management of those lettings.

Case Overview:

Our client is the owner of a student apartment development in Liverpool.

A student accumulated significant arrears of rent (over £20,000) and was unlawfully subletting the property on Airbnb.

We were instructed to commence proceedings to obtain possession and a judgment for the arrears.

Our client was successful in obtaining the judgment and possession was obtained. The tenant is located in China and therefore we will be required to enforce the judgment out of jurisdiction in order to recover the arrears.

Case Study 2

Client Intro: Trustees of the HR Millington Trust

Our clients are the owners of a large estate in the North West which includes residential properties that they rent to tenants.

Case Overview:

The firm regularly acts for the landlord and receives instructions to recover possession of residential premises and obtain Judgment in relation to rent arrears.

These properties are sometimes let on very old ‘Rent Act’ tenancies or assured tenancies. Alternatively, they are let on Assured Shorthold Tenancies. In the first instances, notices are served on the tenant and if possession is not given by the end of those notices, Court proceedings are issued, an Order obtained and bailiffs instructed to obtain possession.

Case Study 3

Client Intro: Owner of residential property

Case Overview:

Our client has a long leasehold interest in a residential property. They instructed us to use the statutory procedure under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Developments Act 1993 (as amended), Part 1, Chapter II, Section 24 to extend the lease.

An agreement was reached and the lease was extended.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Laura Pile

Laura Pile

Laura is a Partner and Head of our Property Litigation Team

Seán Hackett

Seán Hackett

Seán is a Partner in our Property Litigation Team

Karen Taylor

Karen Taylor

Karen is a Senior Associate in our Property Litigation Team

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer Hartley

Jennifer is a Solicitor in our Property Litigation Team

Contact Us

You can contact a member of our team using the contact form below or by phoning us on