Landlord & Tenant (both tenant and landlords)

Landlord and tenant is an area of common law which sets out the rights and duties of landlords and tenants. It creates a legal relationship within a residential capacity. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and 1987 outline all duties required by both parties and circumstances where remedies are available.

Basic duties of the landlord consist of granting possession to the tenant, not interfering with that possession and the tenant’s enjoyment of the property and duties of health and safety within that property. Further duties are covered as well as remedies a tenant is entitled to regarding a landlord’s breach, eviction rights and remedies and damages.

At Hillary Cooper Law, we have a range of expertise within Landlord and Tenant law and can provide understanding and advice relating to these duties and circumstances governed by this area of law; and further legal support to suit your circumstances.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies (landlord biased)

Assured shorthold tenancy is a type of tenancy provided by private landlords for a minimum of 6 months, and can be granted for up to 3 years. Despite the shorter length, a shorthold tenancy remains a contract which will set out rent, whom is responsible for works that may need to be carried out to the property etc.

For a landlord to take possession of a property held under a shorthold tenancy, the landlord has a right to terminate the contract, by using a section 21 notice. This procedure provides the tenant with a 2 months minimum notice period. This can be served at any time during the tenancy after the first 4 months and the courts will not grant possession during the period which is 6 months from the beginning of the tenancy. As a legal procedure, there are certain rules that must be followed to issue a section 21 notice.

At Hillary Cooper Law, we have experience with these matters and exceptional legal knowledge that has enabled us to be able to provide support throughout the process of creating or terminating an assured shorthold tenancy.

Repossessions

Repossession is the legal procedure which the lender will carry out to gain possession of the borrower’s home for reasons such as falling behind with their mortgage payments. Should the lender apply to the court for a possession order to start these proceedings, the borrower should first have been contacted by such lender to state that they are in arrears, this is known as a pre-action protocol, which the court will expect of the parties. Matters such as these can be resolved during this pre-action stage via communication between the lender and the borrowers.

Should the pre-action protocol not amount to a resolution, and the lender applies to the court, the court will set a date for a hearing for a judge to decide on whether the borrower should keep their home. Throughout all of the above, legal advice could be paramount to keeping a home - if you are a borrower - or repossessing your property - if you are a lender.

At Hillary Cooper Law, we have expertise in commercial and residential property law and vast experience in litigation. Overall, we have the ability to meet your requirements on this matter regardless of the level of advancement of your case.

Lease Extensions – LRHUDA 1993 Act

A lease extension is a legal agreement between the tenant and landlord that extends the temporary possession granted by a rental agreement between the owner of a property and the individual(s) renting. This document is subject to legal requirements to ensure validity, for example containing the names of parties to the agreement, dates on which the extension shall begin and end and should reference the earlier rental agreement which the extension pertains to.

The statutory route of accomplishing a lease extension is governed under the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA) and provides that the property in question has been under the leaseholder’s ownership for two years. LRHUDA provides a formula for how a lease extension is to take place and can be misconstrued by a lay person.

At Hillary Cooper Law, we have the expertise in managing the process of a lease extension, which includes drafting, serving the section 42 notice correctly, and overall ensuring the desired outcome.

Freehold Purchase Law – Collective enfranchisement

Collective enfranchisement is the procedure whereby the leaseholder has a legal right under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to buy the freehold of their building as long they meet the qualifying criteria. The legislation provides the procedure and timescales set out are followed vigorously.

This is known to be a difficult process and can be misunderstood if not advised correctly or clearly.

Here at Hillary Cooper Law we take pride in our vigilance and care taken for such procedures that stems from our experience and knowledge of property law. We therefore have the ability and experience to carry you through the process to achieve your desired outcome.

Right to Manage – common hold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002

The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 provides leaseholders the statutory right to take over the management of their property from their landlord by setting up a right to manage company. For the right to manage, the leaseholder does not require any permission from the landlord, nor does any mismanagement need to be established, however, there are responsibilities that require due care and attention when gaining the right to manage.

As a landlord, this claim from the leaseholder can be accepted or disputed, which may require legal support.

At Hillary Cooper Law, because of the expertise and experience we retain, we have the ability to supervise, advise and assist with any assistance that may be required during this process.

Service Charges - landlord and tenant act 1985 and 1987

Service charges are an area within property law that cause disputes between a leaseholder and their landlord. Simply put, a service charge on a property is one which is levied by the landlord to recover a cost that they have incurred by providing a service to the building. Such service charges are governed by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and 1987 and should be set out within the tenant’s lease or agreement.

All details pertaining to what can amount to a service charge and dates of when payments may be required will be set out in the lease.
Such documents requiring carefully worded drafting in order for the landlord to be able to recover their costs.
At Hillary Cooper Law, we have the ability to carefully draft such
documents or to peruse already drafted
document to make sense of them to a lay person. We are equipped to deal with and manage
documents and the process of service charges to avoid the popular disputes that so often take place in the world of property law.

Property Insurance Disputes

In relation to property insurance, this will fall onto both the tenant and the landlord in different ways. In relation to the tenant, if they bring an item into a property, it is for them to have the appropriate insurance cover, however there are certain obligations on a landlord that they should fulfil in relation to property insurance. The majority of the information for these matters lie in the wording of the contract or tenancy agreement to which both the landlord and tenant sign.

Lease Forfeiture

The leaseholder, will have terms in their lease that have attached contractual obligations and breach of these could cause legal action to be brought against them. As a landlord, there are sanctions you can bring about, should these circumstances arise. Forfeiture of the lease is one which can be pursued and will overall bring about the result of the forfeiture being set aside, and the lease being reinstated to the property, but it will require a court order. Such an order is granted by the service of a notice under Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925, which is the Notice of Seeking Possession.

In order for this process to begin however, the leaseholder must admit to the breach, or such arrears. For the breach to be in relation to arrears, this provides complications to the landlord as a valid notice cannot be brought if arrears are of a total less than £350, or have been outstanding for less than three years. As it can be seen, this area brings about complications that may not be easily dealt with by the landlord, due to other obligations or the legal understanding necessary to adhere to the procedure, and to carry it out in the best way possible for the landlord.

Here at Hillary Cooper Law with our vast experience and knowledge within Landlord and Tenant Law, Commercial and Residential Property Law and litigation – should it come to that – we can provide support, assistance and advice, every step of the way.

Deed of Variations

Deeds of Variation are used in commercial and residential leases; where a landlord and a tenant agree to vary the terms of their lease. Such a need to vary one’s lease may arise where the terms of the lease are defective; where additional years are purchased by the tenant or where a party simply wishes to introduce new terms or remove old terms in the lease.

The deed of variation provides a framework that can be used by the parties to document the changes that they have agreed which are particular to their circumstances.

At Hillary Cooper Law our expertise lies in being able to negotiate the terms on your behalf ensuring you get the outcome you desire; drafting the deed of variation once those terms have crystallised and ensuring that your legal interests are registered with the appropriate bodies.

Dilapidations

Dilapidations refers to the event when the tenant is to leave the property due to the end of the tenancy, or the end of the lease, and they have such contractual obligations to leave the property in a particular state, however this is not met and this amounts to a breach of their contract.

There are responsibilities on the landlord in these cases, for example, the legal protocol for dilapidations is such that you issue a Schedule of Dilapidations and a Quantified Demand within 56 days after the end of the lease term, or a timescale that is granted in the lease. This procedure requires care and attention, which is in line with our expertise and that which we can provide to you, via our experiences in landlord and tenant law and property law.

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