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Commercial & Property Litigation FAQs

You will no doubt have a few questions about the advice and support our Commercial & Property Litigation team offers as well as the processes involved before you decide to instruct your Solicitor.

We have captured some of the questions which we are frequently asked below. Remember all our teams also offer a free initial consultation.

Yes, you can, providing your tenant is at least two months in arrears.

The process involves serving your tenant with an S8 Notice Seeking Possession or S21 Notice to Quit. Often this is all that is required to get the tenants to leave.

Should your tenant not vacate the property by date given in the Notice, you will need to instigate Court Proceedings with a view to obtaining a Possession Order and a County Court Judgement.

Finally, if the tenant still refuses to vacate the property once the Court Order is granted, Bailiffs can be instructed to attend the property and remove the tenants.

Ultimately this will depend on the circumstances and the tenant’s willingness to vacate.

There are three steps to the tenant eviction process, though the tenant may decide to vacate at any stage.

  1. Serving legal notice (i.e. Section 8 or 21)

Once served it can take between 14 days and 2 months for the tenant to vacate depending on the specified notice period. If they do not vacate the property you will need to instigate court proceedings.

  1. Court Proceedings

Depending on court availability it will generally take between two and four weeks for a Possession Order and a County Court Judgement to be granted which normally specifies that the tenant should vacate within 14 days. If they still refuse to leave the property you can apply for a Warrant of Possession.

  1. Warrant of Possession (Bailiffs)

Again, depending on court availability, it can take up to five weeks to obtain a Warrant of Possession, once in place you can instruct bailiffs to remove the tenant.

Yes, you can, but you need to be able to prove that they are validly incurred arrears before a claim can begin. We can help you to establish the validity of your claim, we can then begin and pursue debt recovery proceedings against them.

Firstly, you need to register the end of the tenancy with the Public Trustee Office, we can help you to do this. Once registered you can begin eviction proceedings.

Potentially yes. Locating them is the first challenge and we would use an enquiry agent to track them down. Once located we can begin and pursue debt recovery proceedings against them.

Rising and Penetrating Damp

To be responsible for disrepair arising from damp the tenant has to establish a claim for damage and injury as a result of damp which is caused by a structural problem, as damp in its self is not actionable. There has to be a cause for which the landlord has been put on notice by the tenant,  but has failed to take steps to repair.

A landlord cannot avoid a duty to put and keep in repair their property but they are not obliged to carry out repairs unless they are aware a problem exists (S11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985). If you visit the property for other reasons,  or your agents or contractors do, then you are likely to be on notice of a problem raised by the tenant to those people, even if you have not seen it yourself.

It is essential for landlords to react immediately to a complaint of damp and carry out an investigation to ensure that either it not become a legal matter or if it does that the damp is dealt with quickly and efficiently to prevent legal and repair costs being incurred or increasing sharply.

Condensation is often caused by lack of ventilation, lack of heating or other causes not of a structural nature, so in many cases this is not a problem landlords can be sued for, unless the damp is so severe that it is a statutory nuisance as it is injurious to health (S79 Environment Protection Act 1990) or if the property does not conform to the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, it will be safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm including condensation. If this is the case, then no you are not responsible.

An independent report from a Surveyor specialising in Damp problems can help to show what the cause of the damp is and who is responsible for the damp.

If it is the tenant’s lifestyle which is the cause of the condensation, then it is their responsibility to resolve the issue.

Yes, you do. The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 provides a right for leaseholders to acquire the landlord’s management functions by transfer to a Right To Manage (RTM) company set up by them, we can help you do this.

The communal development or property must meet certain conditions and a minimum number of leaseholders are required to take part. We can advise and support you throughout this process.

The first thing you should do is instruct a Joint Party Wall surveyor. Ideally this should be done prior to any works taking place. With this survey in place, you can begin to agree a course of action and if necessary, detail any remedial work.