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Problems in respect of properties, whether they are owned or rented, come in all shapes and sizes. Often the problems involve highly charged emotional issues.
At Premier Solicitors our Lawyers will give your property case the understanding it deserves. At the same time we will step back from the emotional issues and give you the best legal and pragmatic advice.
We have a breadth of experience in dealing with Property matters which include the following:
Home owner issues:
- Boundary disputes
- Ownership issues
- Problems with neighbours and neighbouring land
- Issues concerning covenants and their interpretation for the purposes of trespass
- Building disputes
- Rights of way (public and private)
- Issues with mortgages
Landlord & Tenant
We have a specialised and dedicated team of Lawyers that deals with Property owners that are Landlords. Senior members of our team have many years of first-hand experience in the Property industry.
We handle cases locally as well as nationally acting on behalf of private landlords as well as small to large sized property management companies and we pride ourselves in helping landlords from the beginning to the end of a tenancy. We know that as a landlord it is essential to be prepared and this saves you time and money
If you are a landlord we can advise and guide you through the letting process including:
- Tenancy agreements and their interpretation
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme issues
- Your liability under various health & safety regulations
- Dealing with rent arrears and tenancy problems
- Terminating tenancies and recovering possession
Tenancy Deposits - Comply or face the penalties
Due to the current economic climate and the troubled employment market, the number of instances of Tenants defaulting on their rental payments has increased noticeably over the past six months. Property owners who are looking to let their properties out will therefore be keen to ensure that they are protected from the effects of Tenants defaulting on their payments.
The use of guarantors is widely recognised as a useful tool, however the most popular method used by Landlords is requiring the Tenant to provide a deposit equivalent to one or two months' rent. It is imperative, writes Christopher Green, an Assistant Solicitor in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department of Premier Solicitors (Bedford) Ltd, that Landlords are fully aware of the legal requirements associated with the taking of deposits and the potential pitfalls of not handling them properly. Recent changes in the law mean that non-compliance with the legal requirements for deposits can prove a very costly mistake for Landlords and can also impact on any attempts to regain possession of a property.
Prior to the 6th of April 2012, a Landlord who took a deposit was required to register it with an authorised deposit protection scheme and to provide the Tenant with certain information about the scheme within 14 days. If a Landlord did not comply with these requirements, penalties would be levied against them. However, if the Tenant made a Claim against the Landlord in relation to the deposit, the Landlord could avoid the penalties by simply ensuring that the requirements were complied with prior to the Court Hearing.
This situation changed dramatically on 6 April 2012 with the coming in to force of the Localism Act 2011. The changes mean that a Landlord now has 30 days in which to register a deposit with an authorised deposit protection scheme and to provide the Tenant with the information. The extension of the period for compliance may appear generous however the consequence of it is a much stricter approach to any breach of the requirements.
If a Landlord does not properly register the Deposit or provide the Tenant with the information within the 30 day period, penalties will be levied. The key penalty facing a Landlord who breaches the provisions is that the Landlord will be ordered to pay the Tenant a sum equal to three times the amount of the deposit, potentially a significant sum.
A further change is that the Landlord will not be able to avoid the penalties simply by ensuring compliance with the requirements at a later date or prior to a Court Hearing. If a Landlord does not comply within the 30 day period, they will be liable for the penalties.
Lastly, the recent changes mean that any breach of the requirements relating to deposits can potentially impact on the ending of a tenancy and, conversely, the consequences of not complying can come back to haunt a Landlord even after the tenancy has come to an end. From 6 April 2012, any notice purporting to end the tenancy which is served by a Landlord in breach of the deposit requirements will be invalid. The Tenant would therefore not be required to leave under such a notice until the deposit has been returned and the penalty sum paid. Also, even if the tenancy does come to an end and the Tenant leaves the property, the Tenant will be able to enforce the penalties at a later date.
If you are a Landlord thinking of taking a deposit from a prospective tenant, are a Landlord who has taken a deposit but are not sure if you have complied with the legal requirements, or if you are a Tenant who is concerned about a deposit you have paid to your Landlord, please contact the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department of Premier Solicitors (Bedford) Ltd for expert legal advice.
Residential Possession Proceedings
We can help landlords with:
- Advising on terms of the tenancy agreement, including the obligations of the landlord and the tenant
- Drafting and serving appropriate notices to bring a tenancy to an end
- Issuing court proceedings for possession
- Providing advocacy and representation at court possession proceedings throughout the Country
- Advising and defending claims for damages for unlawful eviction and harassment.
Premier Solicitors also offer specialist legal advice to tenants, to find out more about our services please contact us and speak to one of our specialist team.
Commercial Possession Proceedings
As well as residential possession proceedings, we also deal with commercial possession proceedings.
Lease disputes occur frequently between leaseholders and freeholders concerning a number of areas such as liability for repairs and parking.
There will also be times when one leaseholder will need to enforce the terms of the lease against another, as they have no direct contractual relationship with the other leaseholders this can only be done through the freeholder who has a relationship with each lessee through the lease.
We can provide specialist advice to Leaseholders and Freeholders.
Dilapidations claims are an area of property dispute that is frequently misunderstood and mishandled. We undertake dilapidation claims for private clients as well as national retailers and we understand that the client needs to receive the correct advice at the start as dilapidation claims can become an expensive exercise for both landlords and tenants.
We can refer our clients to specialist surveyors who have the expertise to assist you along the way.
We are frequently instructed to repossess property on behalf of landlords due to tenants being unable or not wanting to pay the agreed rent.
In these situations the recovery of rent owed can begin once the landlord has repossessed his or her property. Although some landlords choose to recover the rent owed at the same time they regain possession of the property, we find some landlords prefer to regain possession of the property and recover the rent outstanding at a later stage. We have an excellent track record of recovering rent in these situations thanks to our established debt collection team that understands the value of continued effort over time.
We understand that you do not want to pay extortionate legal fees to recover what is not always a large amount of money so we carry out all work on a fixed fee basis so you know what you will be paying from the outset. If you know where your ex-tenant is living and have a copy of the signed tenancy agreement we can usually recover some or all of the money owed to you cost effectively.
Call us today on 01234 35 80 80 to speak to a member of our qualified team.
Arrange to meet one of our Commercial Property Lawyers at our office in Bedford.
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