Property disputes can be unexpected and sometimes unavoidable, but a clear and practical approach can achieve a successful resolution.
SA Law is a regional leader in property, with a dedicated dispute resolution team based in St Albans and London that deliver success for landlords, tenants, developers, investors and other clients with commercial and residential property interests. We can also work closely with the real estate team to help you achieve your objectives.
Our aim with any property dispute is to achieve your objectives as cost-effectively as possible. After working with you to understand the situation, we will explain the legal position and suggest practical approaches, with complete transparency over our fees and any associated costs. In certain situations, we may also be able to offer one of our flexible funding options.
Often, the fastest and most cost-effective approach is to avoid court proceedings in favour of an alternative method of dispute resolution such as mediation or expert determination. That said, our team has a strong record of success in courts and tribunals if your situation demands it, and enjoys close relationships with excellent barristers chambers.
We have extensive expertise in commercial landlord and tenant disputes. We can advise on lease renewals, dilapidations, service charges, tenant default, possession claims, restrictive covenants, redevelopment and telecoms. We also offer specialist expertise in leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions, and are members of the highly regarded Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP). Our services are often commissioned to prevent disputes arising in the first place and offer strategic advice that can minimise risk and help you to capitalise on opportunities.
Our experience in resolving property disputes
- Increasing the settlement paid to an industrial tenant that was facing lease termination due to a major housing developer’s redevelopment. The increase was achieved by identifying technical issues with the developer’s claim and using those to force a settlement.
- Negotiating a settlement which allowed for an early exit and waiver of dilapidations liability for a high-net-worth retail tenant in central London, who was embroiled in a multi-faceted dispute with their landlord.
- Acted for Law of Property Act Receivers appointed over a portfolio of properties following borrowers’ default.
- Acted on an ownership dispute over East Thurrock Football Club, which is worth circa £10 million.
- Negotiated an early exit and waiver of dilapidations liability for a retail tenant in a Prime Central London.
- Secured the removal of telecommunications apparatus that the operator was refusing to remove, which was impacting a developer’s redevelopment plans.
- Successfully negotiated compensation and waiver of dilapidations claims for a tenant that was being forced out due to a housing redevelopment.
- Successfully obtained orders for sale of jointly owned properties where there is a dispute over the sale and distribution amount/proportion.
- Settled a dispute for the freeholder of a luxury block of flats on the English Riviera who wanted to reconfigure the parking area but was encountering objections from leaseholders.
- Secured a successful possession order on appeal in the High Court for an individual whose long residential lease was forfeit due to an alleged breach of lease. This is presently being appealed in the Court of Appeal.
- Acted for Rent Act-protected tenants against well-known aggressive landlords who were seeking possession of the premises.
How we can help
- Disputes have a tendency to intensify over time, so take a proactive approach to get the best chance of a successful early resolution.
- Legal disputes can be expensive, but our clear strategy options will enable you to choose an approach that you are comfortable with.
It’s good to bear in mind
- When landlords and tenants are in dispute, the first thing to do is read the lease. Swift resolution can often come from discussing what the clauses mean to both sides.
- Provide us with as much information as possible about the dispute and the property it relates to in an ordered way. Our fees will be lower if we can get up to speed with the situation quickly.
- Think about what you want to achieve from the resolution. We can help if you are unsure what a reasonable outcome expectation is.