Housing Law

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Housing Law

Our team of highly experienced housing and property solicitors specialise in the areas of law listed below and can act for both landlords and tenants at competitive rates. We cover a wide range of housing and property issues: from helping people who are homeless to securing accommodation from the local council to negotiating leases on behalf of commercial landlords and acting for residential leaseholders in service charge disputes and forfeiture claims.
We have extensive experience in the field of recovery of rent arrears, dilapidations, forfeiture, repossession and eviction of trespassers.
We represent residential and commercial tenants in possession proceedings and disrepair issues, while also assisting private and commercial landlords in recovering possession of their properties and pursuing arrears.

Residential Landlord & Tenant

Residential Landlord & Tenant Solicitors
We have the insight to help you avoid court proceedings being issued. Our specialist lawyers provide expert legal advice and assistance whether a dispute has arisen or proceedings issued. We have expertise in assisting you at every stage of the process of letting a property, from drafting the tenancy agreement to ending a tenancy and recovering possession. Advice areas offered are:

• Possession proceedings in the County Court (Council, Housing Association tenants, private etc.)
• Providing advocacy & representation at Court
• Preparing & serving notices seeking possession
• Advising & updating on legislation regarding tenancy deposit schemes & houses in multiple occupation
• Issuing s.21 notices under provisions of the Housing Act 1988
• Issuing accelerated possession proceedings for assured shorthold tenancies
• Issuing possession proceedings for rent arrears and other breaches of tenancy
• Drafting tenancy agreements
• Complying with tenancy deposit scheme requirements
• Taking the right action regarding tenants who are in rent arrears or in breach of their tenancy agreement
• Ending a tenancy and recovering possession of the property
• Disrepair issues including defending landlords in County Court claims for disrepair brought by tenants

Claims for Possession by Landlord

In most cases a landlord who wishes to recover possession of a property let to a tenant must apply to the County Court for a Possession Order. Where it is alleged that the tenant has broken the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, for example, by falling into arrears of rent, the tenant may be able to defend the claim by arguing that it is not reasonable for a Possession Order to be made. Alternatively, it may be possible to argue that a Possession Order should be suspended or postponed, which allows the tenant to remain in occupation.

Where the landlord has already obtained a Possession Order and seeks to enforce the Order by applying to evict the tenant, in many cases the tenant would be entitled to apply to the court for the eviction to be postponed.

Our team of housing lawyers can advise you about such cases and may be able to represent you at the County Court.

Claims by Mortgage Lender

Where the home owner’s mortgage payments have fallen into arrears the lender is entitled to apply to the County Court for a Possession Order. Whilst the lender usually has the right to possession, in many cases the court has the power to suspend the Possession Order provided that the home owner can pay the mortgage and make additional payments to clear the arrears within a reasonable period (usually 3 to 5 years but it may be as long as the remaining term of the mortgage).

We can advise you about such claims and can assist by negotiating the terms of a suspended Possession Order with the mortgage lender. In appropriate cases we may also be able to represent you at the County Court.


Landlords are almost always obliged to keep a rented property in repair. That includes the structure and exterior of the property, the boiler and the central heating system, and installations such as plumbing and electrical wiring. The landlords must also arrange for yearly gas safety inspections to be carried out.

A tenant is usually responsible for internal decorations, although, in some rare cases, the Tenancy Agreement may make this the landlord’s responsibility.

A tenant must notify the landlord of any defects. Once notified, the landlord must carry out repairs within a reasonable period. In the case of problems with heating and hot water, a reasonable period is probably just a matter of days. For less serious defects a reasonable period is probably regarded as several weeks.

If the landlord fails to carry out repairs within a reasonable period, the landlord will have broken the terms of the Tenancy Agreement and the tenant is entitled to bring a case in the County Court. The purpose of such a claim is to obtain a Court Order forcing the landlord to carry out the necessary works and to obtain compensation.

Our specialist team of housing lawyers has a great deal of experience in bringing claims for disrepair and has recovered many thousands of pounds in compensation for tenants.

Unlawful Eviction

A landlord must not interfere with a tenant’s enjoyment of the property that has been let to them. That means that the landlord must give reasonable notice of any visits to the property and must not, for example, harass the tenant.

Most tenants are entitled to protection from eviction, which means that before they can be evicted the landlord must apply to the County Court for a Possession Order and then must arrange for the Court Bailiff to carry out the eviction. It is unlawful for a landlord to evict a tenant without applying to the court in this way. Further, it is a criminal offence for a landlord to evict a tenant by using or threatening to use physical violence.

If a tenant believes that the landlord has been interfering with his/her enjoyment of the property, or if the tenant has been unlawfully evicted, action can be taken in the County Court. The purpose of such a claim is to obtain compensation and in the case of unlawful eviction, possibly also an Order requiring the landlord to allow the tenant to return to the property and also, if appropriate, to return the tenant’s belongings.

With a range of fixed fee packages you can stay in control and choose when you need us and how much we do. Don’t be reactive take control of your portfolio with the confidence expert legal advice provides. Our team is hugely experienced in landlord and tenant law and is able to offer you a comprehensive, quick and efficient service at competitive rates.

We are committed to providing expert advice and assistance to all our clients in relation to any housing, letting, or property issue.

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Please contact us via email info@courtlandsolicitors.co.uk or by telephone
0208 478 8666 to discuss any of the above matters.