Landlord & Tenant Disputes
Protecting your most important asset requires expert help, whether it’s your home or your investment portfolio. When a dispute arises between landlord and tenant over ownership or possession, rights of way, access, or even the wording on key documents, it’s important that you have a team with specialist help on hand to help you navigate your way through such a situation.
Costly court proceedings in landlord and tenant disputes are not inevitable. Being advised of your rights, obligations and liabilities at the outset as a landlord or a tenant, is crucial to avoid the dispute escalating and to maintain a good relationship. If you do end up in a dispute, you will need swift and accurate advice from an expert who can manage communications, keep costs down and make sure any disputes come to rapid conclusion.
How we can help with landlord and tenant disputes
- Understanding your obligations and liabilities as a landlord or tenant
- Tenancy agreements and proactive advice on the implications of changing housing law
- Possession claims
- Service charge disputes
- Breach of tenancy terms
- Advice on restrictions in leases such as not being able to sublet a property for holiday lets
- Issues with cleaning, damage, maintenance and other common reasons for disputes
- Rent arrears
- Termination of a tenancy
- Property management issues
- Issues with disrepair or unsociable behaviour
- Reporting and evidence gathering
Examples of clients we have helped
- Recovering possession from a tenant who was claiming he was withholding rent because repair work needed doing to the property for damage he had caused himself. Obtained order for possession, arrears and costs. Further obtained full recovery of sums owed to landlord after tenant made various attempts to avoid service of the bankruptcy proceedings.
- Obtained possession of a residential property for a charity in Hampshire whose tenant claimed to have the benefit of an agricultural tenancy.
- Obtained possession for a landlord of a multi-use property consisting of a restaurant and two flats above.
- Obtained possession from a tenant who had in the previous year made substantial adjustments to the property without the landlord’s consent, including installing a pond and removing internal walls.
- Represented a tenant where the landlord had commenced possession proceedings without having protected the deposit.
- Undertaken various residential possession proceedings relying upon both s.8 and s.21 notices, some of which have been defended by tenants claiming deposit regulations not complied with or reasons behind why rent had not been paid. We have a very high success rate in recovering possession as a result of the various checks we do before proceedings are issued.
- Advised a management company of a large residential block of flats that tenants were not permitted under their long leases to rent the properties out as holiday lets on Airbnb as this would breach the covenant to only use the property for residential purposes.
How we work with you
Whilst based in the South of England, Paris Smith acts for businesses and families throughout the UK. Technology has enabled us to provide a high level of service to our clients whether they are local to our offices or not. Our advice can be given in many ways:
- Over the telephone
- Via video conferencing
- In face to face meetings
We will talk through how you would like to be contacted and the best ways for us to meet in our early conversations with you.
How we’ve helped our clients
“Circumstances led us to a legal dispute, which for us, was unfamiliar and frightening. From the start Rachel was a tonic. She avidly listened, scrutinised our position and then gave us options for our best route forward. She always met us where we were, which felt important. We felt confident in her commitment throughout working with her. In a few words Rachel is professional, diligent and friendly. We felt lucky to have worked with Rachel. ”
“Nicola helped to lay out the appropriate steps we needed to take and guided us through these. She provided us with a detailed background of the case law surrounding our situation which helped us understand our position. This clarity helped give us the confidence to make the right decisions.”
1520 Management Company Ltd
“I worked with Lucy on a difficult dispute with a neighbour. She was consistently helpful, quick to respond, and clear with her detailed advice both when it was good news and bad. She was also constructively pragmatic, and pleasant at all times. Ultimately the matter was resolved satisfactorily without the expense of a court hearing. Overall, it was a very professional and highly satisfactory experience.”
“Nicola Davies is personable with a sympathetic manner. She has good communication skills. She can identify the essential elements of a case and present them appropriately to other parties and, if necessary, to the court. Nicola is level-headed and persistent. With wide experience of legal proceedings, she knows how to adapt to changing circumstances. Altogether, she conveys confidence and competence.”
“I admire you for giving me genuine advice. Your response to everything was prompt and you had everything under control. I would recommend you to anybody else who wants professional advice and help in the future.”
“One source states “I have always found this team to be excellent not only in their advice to their clients but also their balanced view of the case. They are always quick to respond to queries and show a high level of patience in difficult situations.” Another adds “Paris Smith have an excellent knowledge of law relating to a variety of different fields. They are generally highly efficient and their staff are reachable and helpful.” A client says “They are extremely professional and go out of their way to keep you informed of case progression on an ongoing basis, without having to chase. You can always rely on them to deliver a good result, particularly Lucy Taggart in commercial property issues”; whilst other sources state the team are “extremely experienced in dispute resolution in property rental matters. Expert understanding of the relevant aspects of the legal system”; that they have “robust knowledge and experience in real estate matters”. Individual team members are praised with “David Eminton – very experienced and competent. Nicola Davies – very capable, good on landlord and tenant matters”; “Nicola Davies: excellent in all respects”; and “Lucy Taggart always keeps us up to date. Gives very good advice – very active and knowledgeable. An excellent solicitor. Highly recommend.”
Legal 500 Directory – 2023 Edition
“Referees say “David Eminton is an experienced litigator with a wide practice;” and “He is a knowledgeable, calm and supportive professional.” They also say “Nicola Davies is an able property lawyer with good overall awareness and a strong client care approach;” and “She is very experienced, highly competent and very personable.” ”
Chambers & Partners 2023 – Referee Comments
“Referees say ‘Nicola Davies did an excellent job of taking the time to understand our situation and position, laying out the options available to us and associated benefits and costs, guiding us through our decisions making process, providing detailed background on the case law surrounding our situation and providing additional clarity, and producing a high quality final product based on detailed research;’ ‘David is very competent and responsive, and an asset for Paris Smith and its clients;’ Other referees state ‘The team at Paris Smith are always highly efficient and provide a prompt response to any requests that I have for legal support and advice. The advice given is not only timely, but provides an appropriate balance of detail and succinctness and always includes pragmatic recommendations;’ ‘The litigation team has always provided commercial well considered advice. They keep a cool head in a pressured situation. They will act within very tight timescales if required and ensure that risk is minimised to the client;’ ‘David Eminton is a highly experienced but approachable individual. I would be confident that all bases are covered in the advice provided and the negotiations held on my behalf;’ and ‘Responsive and dedicated, no matter how tricky the task.’ ”
Legal 500 2022 Edition
“Paris Smith has developed a reputation in commercial and residential conveyancing, acting for clients across multiple sectors including investors, developers, business tenants and residential landlords. The team also has significant experience in representing developer clients in property contract disputes. David Eminton leads the practice and has increasingly been involved in high-value dilapidation claims, while Cliff Morris has particular expertise in boundary and right of way disputes and housing repossession claims. Clients say the team are “quick to respond, professional, have a good depth of knowledge“. Another states “the firms level of expertise is unique compared to other law firms, as there is always someone who can assist with any legal issue. Staff are also aware of their colleagues level of expertise and are able to refer matters to the correct person if they do not have a particular type of legal knowledge“, and another say they are a “high-quality technical disputes team, but local to its area. Mixes solidity of legal practitioners, good atmosphere, fine juniors and trainees and excellent contacts in the industry. The backroom is very good. Effective admin. Everything you need without going to London.”
Legal 500 Directory – 2021 Edition
Chambers Legal Directory 2024
What the team is known for
Paris Smith has a property litigation team that represents clients across a range of sectors, including retail, leisure and tourism. The firm is particularly experienced in dealing with contentious landlord and tenant issues, such as dilapidations, lease disputes and break options. In addition, the team also has expertise in dealing with complex boundary and right of way disputes.
“The firm has excellent knowledge and gives sound advice. It provides a solid client service.”
“Paris Smith offers excellent advice covering several complex leases.”
“The lawyers at Paris Smith are professional and know what they’re doing.”
David Eminton is head of property litigation team at Paris Smith. He is particularly well regarded for his experience in issues such as dilapidations, developments, and landlord and tenant disputes.
“David is an excellent partner who is on the top of his game. He knows a great deal about property law.”
“David is very thorough when dealing with complex matters.”
“He takes the time to debate complex issues with me and then sets out clear advice on how next to proceed.”
“He’s very competent with sound commercial advice.”
Nicola Davies advises landlords and tenants on disputes affecting commercial and residential property including forfeiture and renewals, damages and adverse possession claims.
“Nicola is a very good solicitor. She is experienced, competent and efficient.”
“She’s a highly commended lawyer.”
Legal 500 2024 Directory
Headed by David Eminton, the Southampton-based property litigation practice at Paris Smith LLP is typically instructed by national retail companies, HNWIs, and charities to handle all aspects of contentious property matters. Nicola Davies is an expert on landlord and tenant disputes affecting commercial and residential property. Solicitor Lucy Taggart focuses on residential work for private individuals, while Lisa White deals with commercial lease renewals.
What clients say
‘Nicola Davies is a very competent litigator.’
‘Paris Smith have a very good reputation and knowing they were on our side, I felt we stood a good chance of a resolution and also it conveyed to the plaintiff we were serious. They have the resources to assist.’
‘David Eminton- with 20 plus years as a solicitor under his wings, his experience and legal knowledge showed as we met with the opposing solicitors. As the meeting progressed, I felt I had the better legal mind and came out the other end with a good resolution.’
‘Paris Smith handled the matter efficiently, closing it down quickly.’
‘I was impressed by Lucy Taggart taking time to really understand the problem.’
‘This is a stand-out property litigation team in the area offering strength in depth from top to bottom.’
‘David Eminton and Nicola Davies in particular are consummate professionals, yet easy to deal with. They have a deep understanding of the law and the property litigation process and at the same time a very down to earth manner.’
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