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Disputes between landlords and tenants

View profile for Michelle Hayter
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No landlord or tenant wants to be involved in a dispute over a residential property as these can quickly escalate into costly and protracted legal conflicts.

Most disputes can be divided into three main categories:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Service charges
  • Non performance of legal obligations by the landlord

For a residential tenant, breach of contract could be continual non-payment of rent, and it is then the landlord’s right to evict a tenant, as long as they follow the procedures laid down in law. Landlords can avoid this situation altogether by checking regularly that rent has been paid on time and in full. Before taking any action for non-payment, landlords should allow two months arrears and try to resolve the issue with non-aggressive communication with the tenant. It is also worth sending letters as you may later need to prove to a court that you gave your tenant sufficient time to pay arrears.

A landlord’s main priority is protecting their investment and rental income. When entering into an agreement, do ensure that you ask your tenant for references, including character references and references from previous landlords. It is also useful to know your tenant’s place of work.

Michelle Hayter is a Litigation Solicitor who regularly acts for both landlords and tenants who find themselves involved in this type of dispute over a residential property. She comments “If you are considering renting a property, you should take legal advice to ensure that you are up to date with current legislation. Since October 2008, landlords have been required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property and, since April 2007, landlords are required to protect any deposit taken from a tenant. There are three schemes for this set up by the Government. If you do not protect your tenant’s deposit you could face court action and a penalty.”

Our Commercial Property Team have a comprehensive knowledge of all areas of law regarding tenancies and can help you set up effective tenancy agreements. Our Litigation Team understand the problems faced by landlords and will work to find a solution to disputes without the need for costly court action where possible.

If you have any questions, you only have to ask us at Frettens. Please call 01202 499255 and Michelle or a member of the team will be happy to chat about your situation and your particular requirements.