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Advice for you

Dispute Resolution

Our team provide practical, specialist advice to resolve your dispute quickly and cost effectively.

Wherever beneficial, we settle disputes via the less formal and less adversarial route of negotiation and mediation. In court, we provide a robust and efficient case to gain the best result for you.


Dealing with a dispute can be stressful, especially if you are unsure about the costs and procedures involved. There are occasions when court action is necessary, and you need someone experienced to stand in your corner.

We can help you with:

Free initial appointment

We offer all new clients a free initial chat with one of our bright experts. A free initial chat with one of our bright experts lasts around 30 minutes and usually takes place over a cup of tea or coffee, either at our Christchurch or Ringwood offices. 

At present, most appointments will take place over the phone or by video link. Where a face-to-face meeting is necessary, we have put the required safety measures in place.

Call us on 01202 499255 or fill in your details below, and one of our friendly team will be in touch to arrange your free meeting.

Dispute Resolution in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

We have offices in Christchurch and Ringwood. Our Dispute Resolution Team also covers Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest, with the majority of our clients located in the Bournemouth and Poole area.

We regularly work with clients from across England & Wales, and our fantastic IT system allows us to represent clients seamlessly using video conferrencing and digital platforms.

Ask us at Frettens

Here's some frequently asked questions on dispute resolution, if you need to ask us anything more please get in touch using the form on the right.

    What is ToLATA and when can a claim be issued?

    The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (known as TOLATA) gives Courts certain powers to resolve disputes about the ownership of property (or land).

    A ToLATA claim can be issued:

    • To force the sale of land or property.
    • To reoccupy a former family home when an ex-partner refuses to leave.
    • By parents/grandparents wanting to recover their financial interest in the property. 
    • To determine the share you each own.

    Read more here.

    My builder and I have fallen out, can I simply throw them off site, withhold payment and hire someone else?

    Whilst this is an option it is not recommended. You should ideally arrange a site meeting to discuss the issues you have with the works and give them a ‘reasonable’ opportunity to rectify those defects before withholding payment and hiring a replacement. Make sure you have written correspondence about what is agreed and if you are still not satisfied or the builder chooses not to proceed you will have a far stronger claim to withhold money, potentially make a claim for money back or claim for additional monies you have incurred in paying an alternative contractor to complete the works to your satisfaction.

    My partner and I have split up and he has kicked me out of his house which I spent a lot of money renovating, am I entitled to a larger share of the sale proceeds for the works I have carried out?

    Firstly, this will depend on who the legal owners of the property are and secondly, whether there was an intention or understanding, jointly shared by you and your ex-partner in relation to the shares in the property being changed to reflect works being carried out by you. The starting point will be to consider the title deeds, any declaration of trust and/or whether there is any express written agreement in place between you and your ex-partner regarding the works carried out or the shares in the property.

    What are the rules on pets in rented accommodation?

    Figures from the PDSA show that over half of UK adults own a pet, yet just 7% of private landlords advertise pet friendly properties. The updated standard tenancy agreement is set to change this, making it easier for tenants to find accommodation that welcomes pets.

    The new default position will be consent for pets, with landlords no longer being able to place a blanket ban on them.

    Read more here.

    What is the Renter's Reform Bill?

    The Renter's Reform Bill, proposed in late 2019 has not yet been passed due to delays.

    The proposals affect both landlords and tenants, with the Government looking to create more security and longevity in residential tenancy agreements.

    To read a full summary of what is proposed within the bill, click here.

    To keep up to date with Landlord & Tenant news, including the Renter's Reform Bill, you can sign up to our newsletter here. Make sure to select 'landlord & tenant'!

    What is a personal guarantee?

    A personal guarantee is a promise by an individual (a ‘guarantor’) that if a borrower or debtor fails to meet a payment obligation under an agreement, the individual guarantor will fulfil that obligation.

    A personal Guarantee provides security for the creditor as it guarantees that the obligations under the contract will be met, even if by the individual guarantor.

    Can an ex-spouse claim against an estate?

    Yes, if the ex-spouse has not remarried or formed a new civil partnership, and the parties have failed to reach a formal financial settlement order or achieved a clean break, an ex-spouse could make a claim against the Deceased’s estate for reasonable financial provision pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. 

    Such a claim would have to be brought within 6 months of the Grant of Probate being issued.  A financial settlement will usually contain a clause preventing future claims against the estate of the other party, therefore if such settlement has not been achieved it is likely they can claim.

    Read more here.

    Can I simply ask my tenant to leave after giving them a months' notice and if they don't go can I kick them out or change the locks?

    No, there are strict rules regarding the eviction of tenants and you must follow those rules if you want to get possession of your property. There are a number of matters that you must have complied with before the start of the tenancy and during the tenancy before you can even serve a valid notice of eviction. If you have complied with all of the requirements then you can service a valid notice. Depending on which notice you give you can either provide 2 months’ notice to your tenant or 2 weeks’ notice. Even then you can't simply kick them out if they don’t leave. You must issue court proceedings and get a court order.