LANDLORD / TENANT AGREEMENTS AND DISPUTES
Kuldeep S. Clair is by far the most experienced solicitor at Sterling Law, with 25 years expertise in all kinds of civil / property disputes and many other fields. His clients have ranged from hundreds of tenants, landlords, and even many letting agents. Kuldeep reviews how he may be able to help you.
I can help in disputes whether you are the landlord (L) or the tenant (T) in property which you have either rented or are renting out. Most disputes in practice concern residential property, and the majority of those properties are let on ‘assured short-hold tenancies’. However, I deal with other rental situations, and commercial tenancies as well.
Assured shortholds are designed to cover tenancies of households which are used by the tenant as a main home. Such a tenancy usually begins for a fixed term of at least six months, and then it can theoretically be renewed for a further fixed term. But it can also just carry on, usually on a monthly basis.
The important points which distinguish assured shorthold tenancies are that:
- The L can take possession without giving a valid reason once the original term has expired. This is usually after serving a valid ‘section 21 notice’.
- The L must still give a minimum period of notice to do that, and cannot forcibly remove the T without do so through licensed bailiffs, and obtaining a court order first. So serving the notice is a necessity, but it does not give the L carte blanche to re-enter the property.
- An initial deposit is taken by the L, which is must be held under an authorised independent scheme , such as the Deposit Protection Scheme. This is repaid to the T at the end of the tenancy. If the deposit requirements and other requirements for gas and safety checks are not complied with, the L can be held liable for a fine by a court of up to three times the deposit. That can be very costly.
If you need me to draw up a tenancy agreement or review it, either in a commercial or a residential context, I can do that as well, quickly and efficiently.
I can help whether you are a landlord or tenant, if you have a dispute over, e.g.
- unpaid rent or longstanding arrears of rent
- alleged damage to the property,
- use of property for unlawful purposes, causing annoyance to neighbours
- harassment / intimidation/bullying of the residents
- unlawful eviction, or wanting legitimate re-possession. Do you have grounds to re-possess, if you are the L? Do you need grounds? What time periods apply?
- any other breach of the agreement by either side – what are your rights and obligations, and how can they be enforced?
It is important to remember that a landlord can never forcibly remove a tenant without a court order. He certainly cannot go barging in and remove the tenant’s belongings. That would amount to a criminal offence.
If you would like advice, please contact me. An initial detailed consultation is charged at a fixed fee.
I can also advocate for you and present your case at a court hearing. This is something that many people that are not used to appearing in court find quite stressful.