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Residential Property Disputes

Residential property law disputes are sensitive by nature. If they aren’t dealt with quickly by an expert in this field, what begins as a difference in opinion can escalate into a bitterly fought conflict that costs all parties in time and money.

When such a disagreement regarding your property arises, seeking legal advice at the earliest possible stage is key to preventing matters from evolving into a costly court battle. That’s where we come in.

At 360 Law Services, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring property disputes to a quick conclusion. Our specialist team draws on their extensive experience to offer expert guidance and negotiate a resolution that secures favourable outcomes for our client.

We also offer mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as different paths to resolving residential property disputes because we believe that not all conflicts have to be settled in court.

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    Our Expertise

    Expertise

    Landlord & Tenant

    Disputes between landlord and tenants can be expensive, lengthy, and stressful. Our specialist property lawyers offer both mediation and legal services, so that you don’t have to resort to litigation in the first instance.

    Whatever the cause of your dispute, we work closely with you to resolve the conflict quickly and pragmatically, achieving key outcomes as smoothly as possible.

    Repossessions

    If you’re a landlord looking to repossess your property, it’s critical that you follow the correct legal procedure to avoid being potentially liable for unlawful eviction, or simply being unable to secure a possession order. . Whether you’re seeking to evict your tenant because they have breached the terms of the lease or because you simply don’t want to renew, we’re here to help.

    Removal of Section 21 notices

    Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is pending abolition this year under the Renters’ Reform Bill . Section 21 currently allows private landlords to evict tenants from their homes at short notice and without good reason – in what’s known as a ‘no-fault’ eviction. This means that even if the tenant has not breached any terms of their tenancy agreement, they could be served a section 21 notice.

    If you’re a landlord and want to know how this will impact you, our lawyers can guide you through the new provisions introduced by the Renters’ Reform Bill.

    Dilapidations, alterations & repair

    When it comes to the maintenance of a property, both the landlord and tenant have their respective responsibilities. The breach of these legal responsibilities is a common cause of landlord-tenant conflicts.

    Where the tenant or landlord has failed to fulfil their responsibility in maintaining or repairing the property, this is what is known as ‘dilapidation’. If the tenant damages the property, the landlord has the right to demand repair or claim for the equivalent price of repair. At the end of a Tenancy, the Deposit can be used for this, although if there is significant repair work required, litigation may still be needed if agreement cannot be reached.

    If a Landlord is in breach this may affect the right to obtain Possession. If a Tenant notifies a want of repair this should be remedied.

    Our property lawyers are on hand to help you navigate conflicts around maintenance of property and ensure that in the first instance your lease agreement robustly sets out each party’s responsibilities.

    Housing Disrepair

    Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their rental property complies with various safety standards and is in a state fit for human habitation, satisfying a reasonable living standard. This extends not only to the structure and exterior of the property, but the water, electricity, heating, and ventilation systems. Landlords are not able to charge you for any repair work required to keep the property in a suitable living condition. .

    If you’re a tenant that is facing problems of housing disrepair such as structural issues, mould or damp, leaks and water damage, or faulty internal systems, you should seek advice on whether you could make a housing disrepair claim.

    Our expert property lawyers are on hand to guide you through the process, clearly inform you of your rights, and liaise with your landlord’s representation.

    New build issues

    If you’ve recently moved into a new-build, and you’ve encountered problems with the property or it’s not quite as advertised off-plan, you could have the right to claim damages or compensation.

    Most new-build homes have a ten-year warranty, and within the first two years following completion of construction, any damages or defects remain the responsibility of those that completed the work. This is known as the ‘defect liability period’.

    In addition, if you’ve purchased a new-build property and it’s not completed on time, you may be able to claim damages for failure to complete on time.

    Our property lawyers will be able to advise you on your rights and the options available to you.

    Recovery of rent & Service Charge arrears

    When your tenant has fallen behind on rent, it can be uncomfortable or difficult to recover the money owed. Rather than handling what can be a lengthy and stressful process yourself, it may be advisable to consult a professional to explore your options.

    Our property lawyers are on hand to help you recover rent and service charge arrears quickly and for a transparent price.

    Boundary Disputes

    Boundaries between properties are often far more complex than you may imagine. Boundaries are hardly ever a straight line, and complicated borders that have shifted and changed through the course of the property’s history can cause issues, especially as Land Registry plans do not show measured boundaries. Boundary disputes can affect the value of your property, any rights of way, as well as the development potential of your land.

    Our team of expert property lawyers bring years of experience negotiating boundary disputes, and we offer both legal representation and mediation services.

    Party Walls Disputes

    Similar to boundary disputes, party wall disputes can be complicated . Governed by the Party Walls Act 1996, party wall disputes can be triggered by one party attempting to make changes or repairs to an existing wall or building a new wall along a boundary.

    If you intend to start any works involving or near a party wall, it’s advisable to seek legal guidance to avoid disputes and to understand your position. If a dispute has already arisen, we offer mediation and legal representation.

    Unregistered land issues

    Areas of unregistered land can cause disputes. It is possible to get good title to an area of Unregistered land through adverse possession, but this can take time, and you will need evidence.

    Older Deeds may exist which could be used as evidence. Deeds are a comprehensive record of information about land and can prove a good root of title to land currently unregistered. Deeds can trace matters such as owners, rights of way, as well as boundaries.

    Registering land with the land registry has been compulsory since 1985, and the purchase of still unregistered land automatically triggers its ‘First Registration’.

    Our lawyers are on hand to guide you through and assist with what can be a lengthy and bureaucratic process.

    Trusts of Land Claims (TOLATA)

    Trusts of Land Claims can arise in many circumstances, for example where an unmarried, but formerly cohabiting couple, is in dispute over the ownership of land or property following the breakdown of their relationship; or following the death of a relative where a property is left to more than one beneficiary.

    These types of claim are civil claims that are brought under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA). TOLATA claims often entail lengthy procedures that requires detailed evidence to support assertions of ownership.

    Our experienced lawyers understand the sensitive nature of TOLATA claims and can help you to navigate the legal proceedings pragmatically and as smoothly as possible, whether you’re bringing the claim or defending one.

    Given the often personal and highly contextual nature of TOLATA claims, we also offer mediation services as an alternative recourse.

    Removal of Squatters, Trespassers & Travellers

    If your property has been occupied by a trespasser, squatter or travellers, removing them can be more difficult and costly than you might expect.

    In the case of travellers, landlords have a Common Law right to use reasonable force in removing travellers from their land or property. However, if you think your property has been occupied by squatters or trespassers, you may find yourself involved in a lengthy legal process.

    To protect yourself , it is crucial that you follow all the legal requirements to carry out a legal eviction. If you fail to do so you could find yourself guilty of a criminal or civil offence. Our lawyers can help to guide you through the process, protect you from liability, and advise you on your rights.

    Rights of Way & Easements

    An easement is a right granted to someone to use another’s land for a specific purpose. They can apply to an entire property or a particular section. It is possible to have an easement from a period of long user of a piece of land which takes effect as a presumption that the right has been formally granted.

    A right of way is a specific type of easement. They are usually used to make it possible for someone to cross a property in order to reach another or create a more convenient route. In the case of public rights of way, these are either the result of years of use or explicit permission by the landowner.

    If you want to grant an easement or want to understand how it impacts you as a landowner, our property lawyers are here to help.

    Restrictive covenants

    A restrictive covenant dictates what you are allowed to do with your property or land, and is contained in the title deed. They can limit how a building or land is used, the kinds of changes you’re able to make, and whether you’re able to run a business on the premises.

    Before purchasing a property, you should be made explicitly aware of any restrictive covenants that exist.

    If you’re looking to challenge a restrictive covenant, or are trying to buy or sell a property with restrictive covenants, our specialist solicitors can offer expert guidance to ensure you’re aware of all your obligations.

    HMO and Rent Repayment Orders

    Rent Repayment Order (RRO) can require your landlord to refund you up to a year of rent. You may be eligible for an RRO if, for example, you’re renting a property that does not have an HMO license, if your landlord has ignored a council notice, or if you have been evicted unlawfully.

    A house in multiple occupation (HMO), commonly referred to as a ‘house share’, is a property in which minimum three people who are not from the same household, co-habit and share facilities. In order to rent your property out as an HMO, you may need a specific license. This needs to be checked as the rules in different areas/Councils are different.

    Our property lawyers can help you understand whether you’re eligible for a RRO and guide you through the legal proceedings. And if you’re a landlord looking to rent an HMO, we’re on hand to advise you on licensing.

    Construction

    Construction projects involve several legal processes and often unanticipated issues that have to be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

    Our team of specialist construction law solicitors have extensive experience with construction contracts and procurement, equipping them well to advise on your project.

    Our solicitors have first-hand industry experience with the unique risks and challenges faced by companies in the construction sector. Our dedicated construction and engineering team is on hand to provide cost-effective and bespoke legal solutions that are tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

    Our Team

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you provide fixed fee quotes?

    Yes – we prefer to work with clients to tailor our service to your budget.

    Can you provide practical advice for construction matters?

    Yes, many of our solicitors have spent extended periods employed by construction companies so are aware of the need for beneficial advice and not just a legal summary.

    Is there an alternative to litigation?

    Mediation is often a more effective and cost-effective way of resolving property disputes. Defaulting to legal action can result in lengthy procedures, costly fees, high levels of stress, whilst still not actually addressing the human basis of the conflict. Though litigation is appropriate in some circumstances, it is not always the best solution.

    We offer property dispute mediation alongside our legal services, because we want to empower our clients with choice.

    Our experienced residential and commercial property disputes solicitor Suzie Stanley is qualified to mediate any civil and commercial matter. Her particular focus is property-based mediations including (but not limited to) Trusts of Land (TOLATA), boundaries, rent and service charge issue, and repossession.

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