Landlord and Tenant Advice

Matters relating to issues such as tenancy agreements, rent, health & safety, repairs, bills or deposits, regardless of whether you are the landlord or the tenant.

When either landlord or tenant fails to stick to the obligations of a tenancy agreement or interests clash, it can be extremely stressful for all involved. Britton and Time Solicitors will have a free, confidential conversation about your situation, so that we can find a way to move forwards quickly and constructively.

We have years of experience and success in new leases, but also all the following areas…

Lease renewal – The landlord and the tenant normally negotiate the terms of a lease on renewal, but if they can’t agree, the court will decide on the terms.

Lease extension – The fewer the number of years that remain on the lease, the less valuable it becomes. Because of this, the law gives the tenant a right to extend their lease once they have held it for two years.

Lease surrender – When the landlord and tenant agree to bring the tenancy to an end.

Repair issues or dilapidations – Dilapidation is property or items in a property that have broken or fallen into disrepair. A dilapidation claim is generally brought against an outgoing tenant, because there are items in the property not working as they should.

Tenant default – If rent is not paid the tenant is said to have defaulted. After the agreed period of time set out in the tenancy agreement, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant.

Squatter eviction – If someone is occupying property without permission of the owner.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) – The most common type of tenancy, whereby the rent is more than £250 a year but less than £100k a year, the tenancy started after 15 January 1989, there is a private landlord or housing association, the property is the tenant’s main accommodation.

Deposit protection – Any money taken from a tenant as a security deposit must legally be protected in a government-approved scheme within 30 days of receiving it.

How to draft and issue a Section 8 notice or Section 21 notice – These are legal eviction notices a landlord can give to a tenant to regain possession of a property during (Section 8) or at the end of (Section 21) an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). But in either case it must be written and issued correctly to be valid.

Tenants’ new rights to resist possession – Private tenants can sometimes ask the court to stop the bailiffs from evicting them if they can show they can remedy the reasons for their eviction. There is usually a short hearing if the court decides to consider the application.

Obtaining possession – Once the court gives an order for possession, it will provide a date by which the tenant must leave the property. If the tenant fails to leave by that date, the landlord will have to apply for a bailiff’s appointment (warrant of possession) to arrange for a bailiff to evict them.

Rent arrears – If your rent is not paid, this is the money owed. Rent arrears are known as ‘priority debts’, which means not dealing with them can be serious and mean eviction.

Issuing proceedings – This involves filling out details of the claim at court. The court will then serve this on the defendant for them to answer to.

Representing clients at possession hearings – At a county court possession hearing a judge decides if you should be evicted from your tenancy. Being taken to county court is a civil matter, so you cannot be sent to prison.

Instructing bailiffs and enforcement – To recover debts you need a CCJ, which we can help you obtain. We will then manage the process of transferring your judgment to the High Court for enforcement.

Service charges – A charge issued by landlords to cover the costs of maintaining the building. The way in which the service charge is organised is set out in the tenant’s lease or tenancy agreement.

Lease breach of covenant – If a tenant takes actions which are not authorised in the lease, such as sub-letting without permission or carrying out unauthorised alterations, this is a breach of covenant.

Nuisance/anti-social behaviour – Private landlords are responsible for preventing their tenants behaving in an antisocial way in and around their homes. This means that if their tenants are acting in a way that causes or is likely to cause alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone living near their home, the landlord must take action.

Collective enfranchisement of the freehold – This is a right, (subject to qualification), for the owners of flats in a building, and sometimes part of a building, to join together and buy the freehold of that whole building.

Right to Manage (RTM) – This gives you the right and the legal means to remove the property management company at your block of flats and replace it with a RTM company that you and your fellow leaseholders set up.

Houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) – A house is classified as a small HMO if at least three tenants live there forming more than one household, and there are shared toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. A house is considered to be a large HMO if it is at least three storeys high, has at least five tenants living there forming more than one household, and there are shared toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

The surrender – Surrender occurs when the landlord and tenant agree to bring the tenancy to an end. The landlord or the tenant can serve notice, ending the tenancy according to the rules laid out in the contract. Or both the landlord and the tenant can agree to end the tenancy by mutual agreement.

Unregistered deposits – Landlords who rent a property to tenants with an assured shorthold tenancy have to follow tenancy deposit protection rules.These state your deposit must be safeguarded by a tenancy deposit protection scheme and information about the scheme used must be provided.

Non-payment of ground rent and service charges – Tenants and leaseholders are often required by the terms of their lease to pay the service charges and ground rent as determined by their lease in advance of the anticipated year’s expenditure. Any non payment is a breach of contract.

Representation at court – For uncompromising expert representation in a court of law, Britton and Time Solicitors are the specialists you can rely on unequivocally to resolve your matter in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

Whatever your situation, get in touch today for a professional, cost-effective way forward.

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