The Property Litigation team has extensive experience in all areas of contentious property work. We are a team of highly skilled and committed solicitors and support staff who take the time to understand the nature of your business or personal dispute, as well as identifying the desired outcome and the most efficient way of getting there.
Whether you are a property developer, a landlord, a tenant, an owner of commercial or residential land we are able to assist. Wherever necessary we work closely with our colleagues in other departments in order to provide a full service.
We have extensive experience of using alternative means to settle a dispute and a full understanding of Court and Tribunal processes, whether it in the County Court, High Court or specialist tribunals such as the Lands Tribunal, Lease Valuation Tribunal, Residential Property Tribunal, or Rent Assessment Committee.
This group is based in Southampton and its ever-expanding client base has grown to include numerous companies facing lease renewals and dilapidation disputes. Recent work includes a land dispute on behalf of a national social housing client, an indemnity claim on behalf of a former private company director and a complicated lease renewal for a major tailor and outfitter company.
Peter Byfield is highly respected for his expertise in property disputes; one interviewee comments that "there is nothing he does not know." In addition to landlord and tenant issues, he is regularly instructed in easements, rights of way, restrictive covenants, trespass and boundary matters. Louise James is particularly well versed in residential landlord and tenant matters and commercial rent recovery enforcement. (Chambers and Partners, 2012)
Property Litigation Our Services
We recognise that disputes, whether private or commercial, can lead to considerable frustration and anxiety, and particularly so with issues affecting land and leases. Our extensive experience with this area of the law enables us to work closely with our clients, to fully understand the nature and extent of the problem, to carefully discuss their expectations and explain the processes and cost involved in reaching a satisfactory resolution.
LANDLORD AND TENANT
Property disputes have long been recognised as a complex subject, with frequent changes in the law through legislation and court precedent. Keeping abreast of these changes is vital and our property litigation team has a wealth of experience and resources to find solutions to even the most involved cases. The following are examples within the spectrum of commercial and private landlord and tenant disputes that we regularly advise clients upon:
In the private sector:
Rent arrears claims
Possession actions, to include preparation and service of statutory notices
Remedies for breaches of other covenants (e.g. unlawful sub-letting)
Service charges claims and challenges and issues involving the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal
In the commercial sector:
Business lease renewals
Forfeiture and distraint, to include the preparation and service of statutory notices
Unlawful assignment and subletting
In addition to landlord and tenant disputes, we frequently advise on the law affecting land generally, to include contract disputes an misrepresentation, boundary disputes, restrictive and positive covenants, trespass and squatters, nuisance, Highways Act 1980, party walls and neighbour disputes.
We have experience with construction disputes, whether involving the various JCT standard contracts or NEC contracts, or, as is often the case, no apparent written contract at all. We advise on relevant statutory provisions, including the Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, the Construction Contracts (England and Wales) Regulations 2008, and on corresponding contractual issues, including collateral warranties. We can guide and assist clients with adjudication, arbitration, mediation and litigation.
We have extensive experience in pursuing and defending claims through the courts, both at County Court and High Court levels, to include the Technology and Construction Court. However, we understand that clients may well wish to explore solutions outside the court arena, and to this end we routinely use a variety of alternative dispute resolution options to include arbitration, expert determination and mediation.