Property & Land Law

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Our Property and Land Law work covers easements, boundary disputes, other real property rights and representing landlords and tenants in a wide range of residential and commercial disputes (covering public and private sectors).

Our Barristers have extensive experience of the range of Courts and Tribunals which deal with such matters, providing advice and representation at every stage.

They are sought after for their experience in advising upon and drafting pleadings, as well as their skills in representing clients at trial.

Several of our Barristers also have significant experience of representing vulnerable tenants, particularly where psychological and psychiatric conditions necessitate expert involvement.

Our experience:

  • Acting for landlords or tenants in possession actions
  • Applications before the Lands Tribunal
  • Claims under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
  • Disputes between lenders and borrowers
  • Disrepair claims, on behalf of tenants and landlords
  • Injunctions restraining nuisance and trespass
  • Obtaining of injunctions e.g. relating to serious anti-social behaviour
  • Possession actions, lease renewal negotiations and service charge challenges
  • Representing borrowers in applications for sale of property by mortgage companies

Case Studies

Why ignoring papers from Court can prove costly

Late in the day, Paul was instructed to represent a Defendant freeholder who was served with claims by two leaseholders (acting in person) for disrepair and the costs of redecorating and replacing carpets as a result of a leaking roof and other alleged defects. The Defendant represented himself at an initial hearing where directions were Continue reading

Opportunity to repay debt before Order of Sale granted

Nicole represented the Defendant in a case where, prior to her involvement, the Claimant had secured a final charging order in relation to her client’s property. The Claimant was now seeking to enforce the final charging order by applying for an order for sale of my client’s property. She first successfully applied for an adjournment Continue reading

Resolving a family claim at mediation

Dean represented a husband and wife in a dispute against the wife’s father and step-mother regarding their respective interests in a property. The parties had initially decided to ‘pool’ their respective resources in order to purchase a property which required considerable improvement, on the basis that the husband and wife would carry out the works Continue reading

Representing a leaseholder in dispute over encroachment

Dean represented a leaseholder in a dispute with his freeholder in respect of encroachment of the demised premises. The building in question had a somewhat complex layout which had resulted in the client occupying areas that were not, it was argued, within the demise of his property. The freeholder brought a claim for possession of Continue reading

Property & Land Law Articles

“A house divided …”

I was instructed by a local council who had introduced a selective licensing scheme under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 (“the Act”); a property comprising 22 individual flats fell within the designated selective licensing area (and indeed had previously been granted a non-transferrable licence) and was acquired by a limited company with an Continue reading

Penalties for not protecting a deposit

Background If a landlord does not protect a residential tenant’s deposit, there are repercussions. The Housing Act 2004 (“HA 2004”) imposes sanctions for non-compliance with the initial requirements to protect a deposit such that the court must order the landlord to pay a penalty award to the tenant (HA 2004, s214 (4)).  The level of Continue reading

Northwood Solihull: A victory for Landlords

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic landlords might have been feeling like the world was conspiring against them. And perhaps rightly so. 2020 was certainly not a good year for those letting or managing property. With lockdowns, temporary bans on evictions, greater requirements for notices seeking possession and the adjourning of possession proceedings some Continue reading

Proprietary Estoppel

Introduction Estoppel is a murky legal topic, encompassing a number of concepts that are easily confused.  This short note aims to momentarily clear the fog and allow a glimpse into some of those concepts. The doctrine of estoppel goes back to at least the 1600s.  There are many forms including Proprietary, Promissory, Contractual, Estoppel by Continue reading

Determination of Flexible Tenancies: Forfeiture Clauses – London Borough of Croydon v Kalonga

Flexible tenancies were introduced by the Localism Act 2011 and are a type of secure council tenancy with a fixed term. Whilst intended to assist local authorities in having greater control over their properties enabling them to re-allocate the same to their tenants on expiry, flexible tenancies were not as popular as had been anticipated Continue reading

Residential Possession Claims

Residential Possession Claims   It is already well known that the Coronavirus Act 2020 (“CVA 2020”) has created a series of issues for both landlords and tenants.  Colleagues Paul Tapsell and Nicole Jennings have both written about the implications for possession proceedings when the first lockdown was initiated. The ability of a landlord in either Continue reading

Garages for Sale – £1 (plus costs)

I dealt recently with a claim for adverse possession which arose from a fairly unusual set of circumstances. My client had purchased two lock-up garages at auction in 1985 for the sum of £2,100; the garages were part of a residential estate which had been constructed by a large-scale Developer on previously agricultural land. For Continue reading

A Sorry State of Housing Affairs: Housing Disrepair Claims Part 1

Summary In the first of two articles, I will provide a quick guide to housing disrepair claims where remedies of damages and/or specific performance are sought. Compensation or injury? It should be noted that claims primarily seeking compensation or specific performance against a landlord regarding disrepair to the structure, exterior, or specific installations of a Continue reading

Lease or Licence?

I have recently been asked by a commercial tenant, and not for the first time, do I have a lease or a licence? One might imagine that the document in which the details are set out would be very explicit. It is not always that simple. Just because the office, workshop, car park or sheep Continue reading

Residential Service Charge – Time for Reform?

Introduction On Halloween in 2003, the Service Charge (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003 (the “Regulations”) came into force, amending section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (“LTA 1985”). This amendment set a financial limit to works carried out on a residential building, beyond which a landlord would have to consult with tenants. That Continue reading

PSED – An Update

Previously, I have considered the Public Sector Equality Duty (“PSED”) and possession proceedings in my article entitled “PSED, Cuckooing and Possession”. Whilst I appreciate that possession proceedings may not be at the forefront in the current climate (and for more information on this, please see Paul Tapsell’s article regarding possession proceedings and the Coronavirus Act Continue reading

Intentionally Homeless Decisions – Where the starting point should be on affordability

This article will look at the recent judgment given in Samuels v Birmingham City Council [2019] UKSC 28 (“Samuels”) and the legislation regarding homelessness and intentionally homeless decisions. The Appellant, in the case of Samuels, was an assured shorthold tenant of a property where she lived with her 4 children. Due to rent arrears, in Continue reading

Adverse Possession

Assertions of adverse possession (or “squatter’s rights”), where an individual is entitled to claim ownership of land by virtue of the fact that they have used the land as their own for an extended period, are frequently the cause of prolonged and expensive litigation. The Land Registration Act 2002 was intended, in part, to prevent Continue reading

PSED, Cuckooing and Possession

Cara Radford assesses applications for possession by public authorities in light of the Public Sector Equality Duty and where cuckooing is an issue. Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”) provides the Public Sector Equality Duty (“PSED”) which requires public authorities, in the exercise of its functions, to have due regard to the Continue reading

Using powers to prevent anti-social behaviour to protect, not punish

The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 brought with it new powers in order to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB). It introduced, amongst other things, the Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), the civil injunction and the closure order. Local Authorities and Police Forces, amongst other organisations can apply for these; but when thinking about these powers, Continue reading

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954- is a tenant now deprived of their security of tenure?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 regulates the way in which business tenancies can be terminated. Importantly, it gives business tenants security of tenure. However, that security has been called into question recently in the case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited [2017] EWHC 1670 (QB). In July 2017, judgment was handed Continue reading

A Licence for Alms

The Court of Appeal has recently given its decision in the case of Watts v Stewart [2016] EWCA Civ 1247, and in so doing has provided a useful reminder of the distinction to be drawn between a lease and a licence.  The case is also a restatement of the Street v Mountford principle that the Continue reading

Issuing warrants for possession- the implications of Cardiff County Council v Lee (Flowers) [2016] EWCA Civ 1034

On Thursday 27th October 2016, Becket Chambers hosted a seminar spanning a wide range of civil topics covering recent case law and updates. The aim of the seminar was to bring together Local authority lawyers, civil practitioners and other professionals. One of the cases discussed at length during the course of the seminar was the Continue reading

When is Consent Unreasonably Withheld?

A common sight in most, if not all, long leases of residential property is the phrase ‘such consent not to be unreasonably withheld,’ but what does that provision actually mean? The High Court recently considered the point in relation to assigning or underletting a lease of residential premises. Case Law The case of No.1 West Continue reading

What Price a Court Fee?

Prior to commencing proceedings there are a number of issues to consider such as the cause of action, any relevant limitation period, not to mention advising the client of the potential costs consequences. As such it is easy to overlook the more administrative matters such as ensuring that the correct court fee is paid. However Continue reading

Boundary Disputes – lines in the sand

Many boundary disputes arise from misunderstandings or a lack of communication between neighbours, but rapidly escalate into cripplingly expensive litigation. It’s essential that if you’re affected (whichever side of the fence you’re on) you get proper legal advice from a Solicitor or Barrister before getting sucked into what could become acrimonious, stressful and lengthy proceedings. This article Continue reading

Absolute ground for eviction: victory for landlords or damp squib?

The snappily-named Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (‘ASBCPA’) introduced a number of provisions to strengthen the anti-social behaviour armoury. One such provision is the ‘absolute’ or ‘mandatory’ ground for repossession of a property where there has been a previous court finding of anti-social behaviour by a tenant or their household/visitors. It provides that Continue reading

A change in housing benefit back payments- what does this realistically mean?

A large majority of possession matters reach court because the defendant has failed to engage with the relevant Local Authority awarding housing benefits or they have failed to provide information when requested. The reasons behind such failures vary from mental health issues to a simple lack of insight. However, such failures often result in housing Continue reading

Property & Land Law Testimonials

I thought that I should put in writing my thoughts about a conference I had the other day with Sam.

At the end of it, I was highly impressed; he dealt with the matter succinctly and in a way that the client could understand.

He also set out a path to bring the matter hopefully to a conclusion although I suspect we are going to end up going to court.

Could you send him my thanks for this.

Solicitors Instructing Samuel Davis on a Property Dispute – November 2021
Counsel was excellent on this case, had a very good grasp of the issues. I wouldn’t hesitate to instruct Lavinia again.
Solicitors Instructing Lavinia Glover – April 2021
I’m very happy with the level of service and professionalism I received from Jasraj. He answered all my questions and did a stellar job at court.
Solicitors Instructing Jasraj Sanghera – July 2021

Thank you Nicole.  Great work – the client is very, very happy. 

Mrs E from Solicitors Instructing Nicole Jennings – June 2021

“I have only praise for Mr Worwood. He received the brief late and did an exemplary job. He was also diligent, good with the clients and accommodating of a request for a pre-hearing con with the clients technically outside his brief. His attendance note was very thorough…”

Mr S from Solicitors Instructing Allen Worwood – November 20

“…The outcome of the hearing is excellent. I know Mr W is very pleased…”

Mr B from solicitors instructing Sophie Gray – July 18

“Good result. Thanks for all your help on this. From ‘car crash’ to success.”

Mr M from Solicitors Instructing Paul Tapsell – January 18

 “Could you pass on my grateful thanks to Paul Tapsell.  He certainly helped me a great deal and I am extremely grateful to you for that.”


Ms H Instructing Paul Tapsell through Solicitors – December 17

“I have spoken with the clients and they thought you were “brilliant” and were very pleased with you and the possession order.”

Miss S from Solicitors Instructing Lavinia Glover – February 17

“We could not of asked for a better advocate.

Gayle went through all aspects of the case and procedure she would be following and  Gayle put us at ease straight away with her confidence and experience and professionalism.”

Mr and Mrs C instructing Gayle Ashley through Solicitors – January 17

“…Thank you so much again for your excellent work in this matter especially on the very short notice of the hearing of the injunction application!…”

Mr S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Paul Tapsell – August 16

“…The clients were very impressed by Dean and appreciative of his work…”

Miss S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – June 16

“Many thanks for your note of the trial – what a great result!”

Ms S from a firm of Solicitors instructing Sophie Gray – December 15

“Thanks very much for that and thank you for your very capable and diligent work on the Friday – you secured a very good deal for J, all the more impressive for your having had so little time with the monstrous bundle!”


Mr S from a firm of solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – October 15

“….Thank you for the report. This was an unusual case so you did well for it all to go so smoothly….”

Mr T from a firm of solicitors instructing Ed Kenny – June 15

“….Thank you for your excellent help with this unusual case which is crying out for a settlement. I will certainly be contacting you for help if they decide to fight on….”

Mr T from a firm of solicitors instructing Dean Thistle – June 15

“….May I add, you certainly made a difference in the outcome of the case with your dealings with the other side prior to going before the Judge, and I am most grateful for your help….”

Mrs H instructing Paul Tapsell through the DPA scheme – June 15

“….Just to let you know i am delighted that i have found John….we had a fantastic result yesterday, all down to him….please thank him very much….”

Mrs H from a firm of solicitors instructing John Nee – April 15

“….Good understanding of my requirements….the clerks were friendly and laid back….cost effective….i would always come direct….”

Mrs C instructing John Nee through the DPA scheme – September 14

“….exemplary knowledge….i cannot praise his knowledge and support enough….i would not have succeeded without him….Mr Kenny is a pure pedigree amongst barristers and i cannot praise him enough….highly recommended….”

Mrs P instructing Edward Kenny through the DPA scheme – June 14

“….a prompt, courteous service from the Clerks and Miss McIntosh throughout. The Clerks were well mannered, presentable and knowledgeable as was Miss McIntosh….the location of Becket Chambers’ office was very convenient with good modern office facilities….”

Mrs S instructing Melanie McIntosh through the DPA scheme – February 2014

“….The service from both our Barrister and the Clerks was not only excellent but pleasant also….”

Mr C & Mrs K instructing Paul Tapsell through the DPA scheme – Nov 11 to Jan 14