Property & Land Law Cases

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

Resolving a boundary dispute with minimal costs

Rachel was instructed to represent clients at a two-day boundary dispute trial, in a matter that had been ongoing for some years. She quickly got to grips with the technical nature of the dispute and was able to assist the clients in reaching a settlement that resulted in a mutual Boundary Agreement which minimised her Continue reading

Dealing with ‘crack house’ nuisance neighbours

Paul acted for a local Council seeking a Closure Order of a ‘crack house’ under section 80 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. The council had received numerous complaints about the anti-social activities of the tenant and her ‘guests’ causing considerable nuisance to the neighbours and the property had been the subject Continue reading

Possession order, plus costs awarded

Cara acted for an Applicant who had made an application for possession of a property based on rent arrears accrued. The Respondent had not engaged with the Applicant when they had contacted her about payment or made any offers or proposals for payment. Possession was ordered within 28 days with a money judgment for the Continue reading

Outright possession order due to rent arrears

Cara acted for the Applicant in a case for possession under the mandatory ground for rent arrears. The tenant did not attend. She successfully obtained an outright possession order with a money judgment for the arrears and costs.

Immediate possession of land

Cara acted for an Applicant in two cases for possession of land due to trespass. The two parcels of land were next to one another but under different ownership and titles. The Defendants had entered the land without permission and had secured the gate on the land with their own padlock meaning the Applicants could Continue reading

Possession order, plus arrears and costs

Cara acted for the Applicant in a local authority possession hearing for a property that had been abandoned by the tenant. The Judge felt service was effective and ordered possession forthwith with a money judgment for the arrears, plus costs.

Multiple possession orders for local authority

Cara acted for the applicant local authority in five possession cases (three concerning secure tenancies, one concerning a non-secure tenancy and one concerning trespass). Either outright possession orders or suspended possession orders were given for all, with money judgments for arrears, except for the non-secure tenancy in which an Equalities Act defence was raised, so Continue reading

Appeal against suspension of warrant application

Cara acted for the Applicant Local Authority, Respondent to an appeal against dismissal of a suspension of warrant application. The hearing was adjourned for three months to allow the Appellant to try and sort her rent arrears with assistance from a discretionary housing payment.

Possession Order for private landlord

Cara acted for the Claimant, a private landlord, in a possession hearing for rent arrears. The tenant did not attend and had failed to keep to agreements to pay a reduction in the rent and vacate the property by a certain date. A Possession Order was granted with a money judgment for the arrears and Continue reading

Successful mediation resolution to right of way dispute

Rachel attended mediation on behalf of her clients in a long-running dispute related to a right of way and access to her clients’ property. There were a number of issues to deal with, including assertions of adverse possession, nuisance and trespass. The mediation was successful, and both the clients and the mediator contacted Rachel afterwards Continue reading

Securing possession and costs

Rachel’s elderly client had purchased a buy to let property as an investment and was reliant on the income received from it to supplement his pension. His tenants had stopped paying rent, had built up substantial arrears and caused damage. A possession claim was commenced but allegations of disrepair were raised by the tenants. However, Continue reading

Claim by mortgagee

Dean represented a private individual mortgagee who had loaned £80,000 to a family friend, the loan having been secured by way of a charge against the mortgagor’s commercial property. The mortgagor had defaulted on the payments due under the charge and failed to redeem it on expiry of the term. The mortgagor had also been Continue reading

Achieving vacant possession for a grandparent

Dean was instructed by the sole legal owner of a property to secure vacant possession; which required evicting his client’s grandson. The defendant – the grandson – sought to establish an interest in the property, arguing that the client held the property on trust for him such that he would ‘inherit’ it in full when Continue reading

Securing payment and costs for a private individual mortgagee

Dean was instructed by a private individual mortgagee, his client having loaned approximately £500,000, secured against the borrower’s commercial property. The borrower’s business had since dissolved and he had gone through a divorce, the result of which being that the court had ordered that the property subject to the charge was to be transferred to Continue reading

Obtaining an Order for Sale where purchaser had failed to complete

Rachel’s clients had been in the process of selling their family home when their purchaser withdrew from the sale after exchange of contracts. Notice to Complete was served but the purchaser failed to comply. Proceedings were issued against the purchaser, and judgment obtained for over £130,000 in damages and costs. No payment was received and Continue reading

Successful Resolution of Road Name Dispute

Rachel was instructed on behalf of a local Resident’s Committee for a private estate. The committee wished to challenge the decision of the local council to allow a road within the estate to be renamed, and wished to appeal under the relatively little used provisions of the Public Health Act 1925. Rachel advised her clients Continue reading

Representing a landlord

Lavinia represented a Claimant who was the landlord of a property which was being managed by a letting agency. Although the tenant had rented the property for a number of years, the Claimant had only recently become landlord. Based on rent arrears, a section 8 notice was served on the tenant, to enable the Claimant Continue reading

Reclaiming a property on behalf of a Local Authority

Lavinia represented the Local Authority in their claim for possession of a property. The property was originally let to Mr and Mrs X. Upon Mr X’s death, Mrs X succeeded to the tenancy. Mrs X subsequently died, leaving her son, the Defendant, in the property. The Defendant claimed that, due to disability and the amount Continue reading

Supporting a vulnerable witness to give evidence

Rachel was instructed by a Local Authority in a matter concerning an application for a housing-related Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction. The Local Authority’s key witness was extremely nervous about giving evidence and anxious about the court process. Rachel went to lengths to reassure the witness, put them at ease and explain the court process. Despite still Continue reading

Securing damages and costs for a Claimant Landlord

Paul acted for the Claimant landlord in a claim for damages for disrepair and rent arrears at the termination of a commercial lease. The Defendants/Tenant had failed to engage in the pre-action process or the claim resulting in judgment in default and the matter being listed for assessment of damages. The Defendants failed to engage Continue reading

Order for sale of property

Paul acted for the Defendant in a case where the parties had separated several years previously. They had agreed a consent order where the Defendant would give up his interest in the former matrimonial home and the Claimant would use her best endeavours to remove him from the mortgage and the deeds. However, she did Continue reading

Prosecuting a landlord

Paul acted for the local authority in a prosecution of a landlord who had failed to obtain a licence for a property within a selective licensing area (under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, section 95). The landlord claimed that she had a ‘reasonable excuse’ defence under section 95(4) in that she had managing Continue reading

Representing a landlord in a complex trespass case

Lavinia represented the landlord in a hearing for an Interim Possession Order against persons unknown. Multiple people had trespassed onto land and a building belonging to the Claimant. At the hearing the District Judge queried whether service was effective under CPR 55.6. Lavinia argued that whilst the documents had not been placed on a main Continue reading

Arguing effective service against trespassers

Lavinia acted for a claimant Council who were claiming possession of an area of land that had been occupied by trespassers. The trespassers claimed they had an implied licence in that an unknown person had given them an implied or expressed licence to be there. The Defendant also argued that service had not been effective Continue reading

High Court challenge to (Judicial Review of) the Council’s Housing Policy

The case involves a High Court challenge to (Judicial Review of) the Council’s Housing Policy whereby individuals with outstanding debts to social housing providers were deemed ineligible for the Council’s Housing List. The Court considered submissions regarding the relevant statutory provisions (sections 160ZA and 166A Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Localism Act 2011). Continue reading

Acting on behalf of a tenant arguing an s21 notice

Lavinia represented a tenant in a case involving argument over the return of a deposit and whether an s21 notice had been correctly served. Her client’s argument was that their landlord had failed to give them the prescribed information relating to their deposit. Therefore the landlord could not serve an s21 notice unless they paid Continue reading

Gaining a possession order for a landlord

Lavinia successfully represented a landlord in regaining possession of their property, which was a HMO. The tenant was represented, and their argument was that a valid s21 notice could not be served, as the landlord had not provided them with the prescribed information. The tenant’s main argument stemmed from whether it was sufficient to post Continue reading

Claim for possession of holiday premises

Rachel was asked to advise the client company on the basis upon which a guest occupied its holiday accommodation in Kent. The occupant had refused to leave when requested to do so, insisted that they held an assured shorthold tenancy and had also contacted national media outlets which ran stories about the case. Rachel gave Continue reading

A successful resolution to a property possession claim

Lavinia represented the landlord (the Claimant) in a defended possession claim. The landlord was seeking possession through the accelerated possession procedure. The tenant claimed that the prescribed information-under The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015- had not been provided, and that therefore no valid s21 could be served. The issue was Continue reading

Keeping a complex and sensitive possession hearing on track

Sophie was instructed by a Local Authority in respect of obtaining possession of a property following complaints of anti-social behaviour. There had been a history of complaints by a number of neighbours, spanning several years, so the case required Sophie’s ability to condense vast amounts of information and ensure the relevant points were brought to Continue reading

Successfully Defending Possession Proceedings

Rachel represented a Legally Aided client who had been served by his landlord with a section 21 Notice for possession of the property he had lived in for some years. Rachel’s thorough examination of the papers revealed that the section 21 Notice had been incorrectly worded, however this had not been pleaded as a defence Continue reading

Landlord seeking repossession

Holly appeared in the Croydon county court on behalf of a landlord who was seeking repossession of her property. The property had been let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the landlord relied upon rent arrears in seeking to evict the tenant. The tenant had made a counterclaim relying upon disrepair to the property, harassment Continue reading

Resolving disputed joint ownership of land

Dean represented a client engaged in a dispute with a sibling over a plot of land in their joint names. The legal title to the land was held in their joint names. However, Dean’s client maintained that the parties had agreed when purchasing the property that he would own 90% of it. The other sibling Continue reading

Antisocial Behaviour Injunction

Dean acted for a housing association in relation to an application for an injunction requiring the removal of a tenant’s dogs owing to the noise they were making. At the initial hearing an order was made by agreement that the dogs would be removed within 28 days, thus avoiding the need and cost of a Continue reading

Order for Transfer of Joint Tenancy

Dean acted for the wife in an application for an application made by a husband to transfer a joint tenancy of a housing association property into his sole name. Dean’s client had lived in the property since the parties separated, however the husband sought to transfer the tenancy into his sole name, thus removing her Continue reading

Securing freeholder possession of a leasehold property

Dean was instructed by a freeholder to obtain possession of an unencumbered leasehold property. The leaseholder had failed to pay the service charges for a period of three years. The matter was complicated by the significant amount of equity in the property in comparison to the amount owed to the freeholder in service charges. Nevertheless Continue reading

Intervener within Financial Remedy proceedings

Dean was instructed by an intervener in financial remedy proceedings to recover a £30,000 loan made to a friend. The client had loaned the money to enable his friend and friend’s partner to purchase a property. They had agreed verbally that the client would have an interest of £30,000 in the property, however this had Continue reading

Application for determination of service charge

Dean was instructed by the freeholders of a property to obtain a determination of the service charge payable by one of the leaseholders within the building, to enable his clients to begin proceedings for the forfeiture of the lease. The leaseholder had failed to pay the service charge for four years, and the freeholders’ previous Continue reading

Dispute over Sale of Family Home

Holly was instructed through the Direct Access scheme to represent a client who sought to sell the property that he owned with his former partner. The couple had separated a year previously and had a child together, who they both cared for. Holly first had a telephone conference with the client to explain how the Continue reading

Obtaining possession of a property

Lavinia was successful in the possession of a local authority property. The tenant had an introductory tenancy and had fallen in rent arrears. The tenant attended the hearing and asked the Judge to exercise discretion in possession by adjourning with leave to restore. They had reduced arrears by making a payment. Lavinia made successful submissions Continue reading

Defective Deed of Variation

Dean was instructed the day before a final hearing by a freeholder in a slightly misconceived claim for forfeiture. The freeholder relied on an alleged breach of the covenant to make building insurance payments.  The lease originally stated that the leaseholder would be responsible for obtaining the building insurance on the property, however as a Continue reading

Failure to repair leasehold property

Dean represented a freeholder in an application for numerous breaches of the repairing covenant under a lease in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). Dean attended a site visit and subsequently the hearing, where evidence was heard from the leaseholder and tenant of the flat, both denying that any such breaches had occurred. The leaseholder also Continue reading

Resolving a long-running neighbour dispute

Dean acted for clients locked into a long-running dispute with their neighbours. This was the second set of proceedings between the parties, in which Dean’s clients sought (i) access to their neighbours’ land to enable repairs to be carried out to the clients’ conservatory, (ii) damages to cover the cost of repairing the conservatory, and Continue reading

Acting for a tenant in an informal lease arrangement

Paul acted on a Direct Public Access basis for the tenant in a case involving a lease renewal for a riding stables and livery yard and accommodation. The original lease amounted to an informal family cash arrangement which had been varied with additional land and buildings incorporated into the agreement over a period of over Continue reading

Possession claim involving a nuisance behaviour

Paul acted for the local authority in a possession claim arising from nuisance behaviour by a tenant. The tenant raised a defence involving Human Rights issues and referring to their considerable vulnerabilities (including mental health and pregnancy) and alleged that the local authority were, or should have been, aware of the tenant’s condition from the Continue reading

Reclaiming investment in property improvements

Paul acted for an individual who wished to reclaim his contribution towards the costs of improvements to a property owned by his former partner (girlfriend); the client had invested a considerable sum towards the works to the property and lent his partner cash sums on the basis that he would be repaid from the proceeds Continue reading

Residential boundary dispute

Paul was instructed on a Direct Public Access basis by lay clients (assisted by their surveyor) in connection with a dispute as to the precise location of the rear boundary between two residential properties. There was a history of encroachment and threatening behaviour by the neighbouring property owner, including the removal of an established hedge Continue reading

Boundary dispute on agricultural land

Paul was instructed on a Direct Public Access basis by the owners of a field adjoining a house in a hearing to determine damages, following a preliminary finding that the clients had trespassed on a neighbouring development site. The neighbour claimed a sum in excess of £0.5 m for the loss of development value of Continue reading

Boundary dispute over listed building frontage

Paul acted for the Respondent in a dispute involving the determination of the boundary between two properties in a listed terrace of Georgian houses. This case, an illustration of how emotive and frustrating boundary issues can become, arose over the colour of approximately 6 feet of building frontage. Paul was initially instructed in the County Continue reading

Tenants’ claim for damages against landlord

Dean represented tenants of a luxury residential property in a claim against the landlord for damages arising from the poor condition of the property including damp and other issues. The value of the claim exceeded £25,000 and the clients were granted judgment in their favour.

Establishing a share in property held on trust

Dean represented a woman seeking to obtain an interest in property she had purchased with her partner, which had been placed into her husband’s sole name as a result of her poor credit rating. The client had contributed financially to the property both in respect of the initial deposit and on-going mortgage payments. The client Continue reading

Successful negotiation avoiding protracted proceedings

Melanie advised the Claimant and assisted with successful negotiation of a complex property option agreement involving registered and unregistered title and potential issues under the Limitation Act. The successful settlement of this case particularly highlights the value of Melanie’s negotiation skills in avoiding the delays and potential costs associated with protracted proceedings.

Lifting an obsolete restrictive covenant

In this long-running case, Melanie acted for the Appellant in a contested hearing involving the application for the lifting of a restrictive covenant, preventing her client from converting part of their property. Objections to the development had been raised by other residents. Melanie successfully persuaded the Tribunal that the covenant was obsolete, the Appellant’s application Continue reading

Injunctions against nuisance neighbours

On behalf of the claimant, John acted in a case where nuisance neighbours were harassing and causing distress to his client. The case involved assisting the instructing solicitor with site visits, preparing plans and photographs for the court, and advising on witness evidence. John was successful in obtaining various injunctions against the nuisance neighbours.

Recovering a Right of Way

Holly provided advice to a landlord as to how best to recover the use of a right of way which ran behind a number of properties which it owned and let out, or had sold. The defendant tenants had been using the land (an access footpath) behind their property, preventing access to the rear of Continue reading

Possession order on local authority property

Holly was successful in securing a possession order on behalf of a local authority against a tenant who was found to have used weapons to attack the communal residence. As the tenant was schizophrenic, the case involved consideration of significant medical evidence regarding the tenant’s mental health and raised issues under the Equality Act 2010 Continue reading

Acting on behalf of vulnerable tenants

Holly acted on behalf of Ms C, a vulnerable introductory tenant, resisting an application for possession being sought on the grounds of anti-social behaviour. Holly’s gentle approach enabled her to support through her client through the various steps of the case. Her client, who was pregnant, suffered from a number of mental health issues, and Continue reading

Recovering possession of local authority property

Holly was successful in recovering possession of a property on behalf of a local authority in an anti-social behaviour housing matter. She was instructed from the pre-issue drafting stage through to final hearing and related injunctive and committal proceedings. Although Holly was part of a sizeable team on the local authority side of the case, Continue reading

Defending a claim for adverse possession

Holly successfully defended a claim for adverse possession in respect of a field in Kent, appearing at: injunction proceedings in the county court a two-day trial in the Lands Tribunal. The elderly owner of the field wished to sell the land. The claimant contended that he had used the land for 20 years, however Holly’s Continue reading