News Article

A litigators story…

Tony is Head of the Property Litigation team at Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors London office, where he has particular expertise in a wide range of property disputes, residential and commercial, acting for both landlord and tenant. 

From his position of experience in litigation, Tony shared this scenario of how a private landlord and tenant arrangement can potentially become a property litigation issue, and spiral into a contentious and costly situation. 

A solicitor's view on property litigation & disputes 

I do meet many landlords who have rarely had a problem with tenants. However, many Landlords try to avoid costs by doing their own deposit registration and notices. Some use the wrong notices. For instance for arrears cases some do not take any advice on what notice(s) should be served and use a two month notice rather than the quicker notice route based on arrears.

I have in mind the example of the use the “accelerated proceedings” route. Some people find this attractive and at first blush it might be quicker but does not include arrears, and the process if it runs smoothly should in theory get possession earlier. 

However if the papers do not look right or the tenant objects the Court may well fix a hearing. Imagine being met at Court with your tenant and the Duty Solicitor who challenges your deposit protection evidence, claiming the deposit was protected late and some of the information served is wrong. Your notice is likely to be ineffective and the claim dismissed. The Court may make an award against you of three times the deposit, and order costs. 

For private tenant's

Unlike the position where the Tenant is an intermediate body such as a Housing Association or Local Authority and rent is often guaranteed, as part of the sign up to guaranteed rent, the private landlord faces the burden of maintenance and repair without this added benefit. 

We offer clients the opportunity before issue of any proceedings to check if anything is likely to cause a problem and offer constructive strategies to move matters to a satisfactory conclusion.

Of course with correct engagement and prior consultation with industry professionals, scenarios such as this are unlikely to occur which is why my team at Mackrell Turner Garrett covers a comprehensive range of specialisms. For further information please contact Chris Lane (Head of Business Development) on either T: 00 44 (0) 20 3542 2551 or E: chris.lane@mackrell.com

Posted on: 23 February 2018

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