Tenant Legal AdviceWith house prices booming and disposable incomes shrinking for many people, more and more of us are turning to long term rental of residential properties. From thermostats locked behind glass cages, to nightmare roommates in houses of multiple occupancy, Britton and Time offers a range of legal services and advice focused on tenants.
What is a tenant dispute?
There are strict legal boundaries that both landlords and tenants must adhere to. As a tenant, if you believe you have been treated negligently, unfairly, or not in line with these laws and your landlord or another tenant disagrees, you are engaged in a tenant dispute.
These can range in severity from minor quibbles to extremely serious matters pertaining to human rights, but regardless of which end of the scale your dispute falls into, it is imperative that you seek tenant legal advice.
Over 70% of tenants have experienced health and safety issues during their current tenancy (according to Citizens Advice). It’s around these types of issue when landlord-tenant and tenant-tenant legal disputes can occur.
As of 20 March 2019 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act came into effect. It was introduced to give tenants more powers to act against landlords who provide sub-standard accommodation. If properties don’t meet a certain standard, tenants can and should seek tenant legal advice and take their landlord to court.
What types of tenant dispute are there?
Landlord and tenant disputes can broadly be divided into four main sections:
- Rent disputes
- Disputes about the landlord’s non-performance of legal obligations
- Disputes regarding service charge
- Tenant to tenant disputes
These are by no means the only types of tenant disputes that occur, but they are the most common. If you don’t think your dispute falls under one of these categories, Britton and Time offers a free initial 30-minute consultation either over the phone, or at our offices in Hove where we would be happy to discuss your case. Contact us today to arrange this.
Tenant and landlord disputes
While most landlords look after their tenants, there are a minority who sadly neglect the tenants in their property or the property itself. Common tenant and landlord disputes include a property requiring repairs or suffering damage, with little to no action taken by the landlord to remedy the situation, or there could be issues surrounding the payment of bills if they are included within the rent, rent increases, or the return of a deposit.
Other examples of tenant disputes:
- Assured shortholds and tenancies
- Recovery of deposit
- Enforcement of landlord obligations
- Service charge issues
- Issues arising from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
- Possession proceedings
- Eviction from your property
Disputes between tenants
It’s not only issues with landlords that are common. As houses of multiple occupancy become more widespread and with more people living in close proximity with each other, stress levels can rise leading to tenant to tenant disputes. Many disputes between tenants can be resolved through dedicated residential tenancy dispute resolution services, but more complex cases may require legal advice. Frequently raised disputes between tenants include:
- Unpaid rent under a joint tenancy with joint and several liability
- Breaking joint tenancy agreements
- Sole tenancies and sub-letting, including lodgers
- Paying bills in shared accommodation
When do you need legal advice for your tenant dispute?
If you are having any issues whatsoever with your landlord or fellow tenants you should seek legal advice immediately. Getting sound legal advice and knowing your rights could help avoid legal action and unnecessary stress and costs.
Seeking legal support during a tenant dispute can save you time, money and upset. But it will also ensure that the right result is achieved and that justice prevails.
If you are engaged in a tenant to tenant dispute (a dispute between tenants), are engaged in a rent dispute with your landlord, or are looking for tenant eviction support, you should contact the expert tenancy dispute solicitors, Britton and Time Solicitors, immediately.
What are the potential outcomes of tenant disputes?
These include but are by no means limited to:
- Reimbursement of rent by the landlord
- Forced improvements being carried out to your rented property
- Breaking your tenancy early
- Retaining the right to remain in your property
When is it illegal for a landlord to gain access to a property?
During the tenancy period, it is illegal for a landlord to gain access to the property without the tenant’s consent. Unannounced visits made without good reason are therefore not permitted.
However, if 24 hours’ notice is given, landlords are allowed ‘reasonable’ access to the property to carry out repairs.
Harassment is never permissible or legal. Moreover it is a criminal offence. Harassment includes but is in no way limited to:
- Entering the property without permission
- Using abusive or threatening behaviour
- Entering the property in order to annoy the tenant
Physically removing a tenant from the property in order to evict them is also not permitted and could be classed as illegal eviction.
Why choose Britton and Time as your tenancy dispute solicitors?
First and foremost, we can tell you exactly where you stand and what action to take next to ensure the right result. Whatever stage of a tenant dispute you find yourself in, get in touch with Britton and Time Solicitors at your earliest convenience.
Our expert team will guide you through the entire process as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.
We offer a full tenancy dispute resolution service, under which we try to make sure your matter has as little impact as possible on your time, wallet and piece of mind. Furthermore, we have been winning tenant legal dispute cases for over 40 years, so you can rest assured you’ve come to the right place.
How much will it cost?
We offer a free 30-minute initial consultation to learn more from you about your particular case. Where possible, we will offer fixed fees so you always know how much your case will be. For more complicated cases, we will always offer estimates of cost so you will know what you can expect to pay, and the services you will receive.
Unfortunately, we cannot currently accept Legal Aid cases.