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Could no fault eviction become a thing of the past?

Helen Porter
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On the 15th April 2019, the Government announced proposals to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which provides a no fault procedure for a landlord to recover possession of their tenanted property.  Were the proposals to proceed, the future of tenant evictions and repossessions would be drastically altered. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, reviews the proposals and the steps landlords can take to protect their property in the future.

Tenant Fees Act to be implemented from 1st June 2019

Helen Porter
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Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team have previously discussed the progress of the Tenant Fees Act through the Houses of Parliament, but the Act has now received royal assent and shall come into force on 1 June 2019. From this date, landlords and letting agents are only able to charge for the deposit, rent and restricted default fees. Helen Porter, Partner in the team, reviews the changes being introduced and explains the steps landlords should take now to remain compliant.

Do I have a nuisance claim against my neighbours because of Japanese Knotweed?

Helen Porter
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Our Residential Conveyancing team have previously discussed how to spot Japanese Knotweed on your property, but could you have legal grounds to make a claim if your neighbour’s land has Japanese Knotweed that is encroaching upon your land? ...

Landlords warned on fitness for human habitation ahead of new Act

Daniel Coleman
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On 20 March 2019 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 (the Act) will come into force in England. The Act will give tenants the right to take court action for breach of contract if a property is not fit for human habitation at the start of and...

What are my legal obligations as a landlord?

Daniel Coleman
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We understand that being a landlord is a big responsibility and we’re here to help you understand your legal obligations to make your role as easy as possible.  1. Make sure you’re providing the correct documents at the start of every...

How is "Retaliatory Eviction" likely to affect you?

Daniel Coleman
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From 1 October 2018, all Assured Shorthold Tenancies will be subject to the rules that were introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 (‘the Act’), which outlines situations when a landlord can terminate a tenancy under Section 21 of the Housing Act...

Landlords: Are you compliant with the Deregulation Act 2015?

Daniel Coleman
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When a landlord wishes to evict their tenant, it is vital that they follow the correct procedure for doing so, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays and wasted costs. This is particularly important given the upcoming changes in the law regarding...

Draft Tenant Fees Bill Third Reading: Minor Victory for Landlords?

Helen Porter
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On September 5th the Tenant Fees Bill (the Bill) had its’ third reading in the House of Commons and the Bill has now been passed up to the House of Lords for consideration. Helen Porter, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Partner, explains how...

Illegal Eviction: what is it and what are the consequences?

Daniel Coleman
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When a landlord wishes to evict their tenant, it will not be a decision they have reached lightly and will invariably be the last resort.  There could be various reasons why they wish to do this, but there are also various steps they must follow to...

Trainee Solicitor qualifies at Warner Goodman

Daniel Coleman
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Celebrations are underway in the Warner Goodman Litigation and Dispute Resolution team as Daniel Coleman qualifies as a Solicitor into the team.  Daniel joined the firm in June 2015 working as a Paralegal in the Southampton based Residential...

Avoiding hedge wars

Daniel Coleman
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When tree roots extend into your neighbour’s property they can cause damage, especially if they are close to foundations of a building.  Daniel Coleman, Trainee Solicitor, explains here the rights you have regarding tree roots and steps to take before legal action. 

Advice for landlords regarding Gas Safety Certificates and "no fault" procedure

Daniel Coleman
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When granting an assured shorthold tenancy of residential accommodation, you should ensure you are aware of the obligations you are required to satisfy both at the beginning of, and throughout the duration of the tenancy, otherwise you could face serious...

What is the law surrounding Tree Preservation Orders?

Daniel Coleman
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Barely a day goes by without a local newspaper recording the infringement of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).  These are often accompanied by protestations from the accused claiming they had no idea that a TPO was in place and, more frequently, detailing the fines imposed against them (which can be as high as £20,000).  Daniel Coleman, Commercial Litigation Trainee Solicitor, clarifies the position on TPOs as well as offering advice to landowners and developers.

Government Reform - County Court Judgements

Brian Kirby
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Against a background of government reforms in Courts and Tribunals, the Ministry of Justice aims to ensure that the process of debt recovery strikes a balance, between the legitimate right of an individual or business to pursue a money claim, and the right of a debtor, to know of any claim against them and have the opportunity to defend that claim.  

The Tenants Fee Bill: Government action ending Letting Agent fees

Helen Porter
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The private rented sector is made up of 4.5 million households in England.  Both landlords and tenants frequently pay Letting Agents to provide a valuable service in ensuring properties are managed; assisting landlords in complying with their legal responsibilities and helping tenants secure a home, being their first port of call for any maintenance and repair issues. 

Can drones cause disputes?

Helen Porter
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Disputed boundaries, loud music and overhanging trees have long caused grievances between neighbours. Now technology has led to a further issue; drones.  Drones are not only loud, but sometimes equipped with cameras. 

Are your tenants disqualified from living in the UK?

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From 1 December 2016, a landlord or agent will have committed a criminal offence where they know or have ‘reasonable cause to believe’ that any property they are letting is occupied by someone who is disqualified from residing in the UK, regardless of when the tenancy was granted.  This is due to Sections 39 to 41 of the Immigration Act 2016 amending the Immigration Act 2014 to enhance the ‘right to rent’ regime. 

How do virtual reality games impact your commercial property?

Helen Porter
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Experts across the world are focusing on property laws and how they will stand up to the growing popularity of reality gaming, following on from the global success of Pokémon Go.  Helen Porter, Commercial Lawyer, advises business and property owners of their rights when trespassing is becoming an increasing concern.

Section 8 and Section 21 - What's the difference?

Daniel Coleman
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When attempting to obtain possession of your property as a landlord (when it is let out on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement), there are two routes that can be followed.  Dan Coleman explains how Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, as subsequently amended, can assist.

Consumer Regulations in relation to Building Contracts

Torion Bowles
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The Consumer Rights Act 2015 made significant changes to the rights and obligations of parties in business to consumer contracts.

Disputes arising out of Building Contracts

Torion Bowles
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Disputes commonly arise out of building contracts. These could include arguments as to quality or price, being kicked off site or being asked to do more than what was initially agreed.

New amendment to Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to speed up neighbourhood planning

Helen Porter
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The Housing and Planning Bill has now had its second reading in the House of Lords on 26 January 2016, after passing through the House of Commons. The next stage for the bill is scrutiny by a House of Lords committee who will look at the bill line by line. The committee will produce a report on the Bill and it will then go for a final third reading in the House of Lords before both Houses consider any amendments and the Bill receives Royal Assent.

The increasing importance of protecting your Intellectual Property

Torion Bowles
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The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (“the Regulations”) gave effect to the European Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. The Regulations prohibit misleading commercial practices that may cause the average consumer to take a different commercial decision to that which they intended.

An end to Retaliatory Eviction

Helen Porter
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On 1 October 2015, new rules are coming into force which will affect the giving of Section 21 Notices giving at least two months’ notice requiring a tenant to deliver up vacant possession of residential property let under an assured shorthold tenancy, without having to prove fault on the part of the tenant.

Terminating a commercial contract by estoppel

Helen Porter
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The usual contractual methods for terminating a lease, or strictly, the ending of the tenant’s obligations under a lease, whether by the fixed term coming to an end, the operation of a break clause, by agreed surrender or assignment are relatively clear and well understood.  However, the courts can, under the doctrine of “equity”, interfere in cases where the assertion of strict legal rights is found to be unconscionable.

Intellectual Property Update: Pop star pushes the Boundaries of Image Rights in the UK

Torion Bowles
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In the week that Taylor Swift reportedly obtained a trademark in the USA to protect the use of her lyrics from her “Shake It Off” and “1989” albums, the Court of Appeal in England & Wales has upheld a decision where the use of an image of the pop star Rihanna on a T-shirt was found to be passing off and had damaged the goodwill and reputation of her business. 

Landlord's address for service

Helen Porter
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At Warner Goodman Commercial we are often asked what address the landlord must supply to its tenant of rented residential property.  Landlords might not want their tenants to contact them direct, particularly when they are using agents to manage their property.  Helen Porter, Warner Goodman’s residential landlord and tenant property litigation solicitor provides clarity on this legal issue. 

Good News for Landlords on Rent Apportionment Post Break Clause

Torion Bowles
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Torion Bowles, a Solicitor within the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, has been examining the decision of the Court of Appeal to back landlords on the issue of rent apportionment following a tenant exercising a break clause in a commercial lease.

New Enforcement Rules: Good News for Creditors?

Torion Bowles
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When a creditor successfully obtains a court judgment, they will undoubtedly want to enforce that judgment if the debtor continues to avoid making payment.  Torion Bowles, Litigation Solicitor, suggests that one might be forgiven for thinking that a surprise visit from a bailiff might encourage the debtor to immediately make arrangements to pay rather than risk having any valuable goods seized from their premises in lieu of the debt.

Guarantors Avoiding Liability

Helen Porter
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A recent Court of Appeal decision highlights the need for careful drafting of leases and commercial contracts to avoid the inadvertent release of a surety when dealing with licences for alterations or other amendments to the original contract.  Helen Porter, Associate Solicitor, advises on the latest Court of Appeal decision on strict covenants and sureties’ liabilities.

CCTV surveillance by your neighbour

Helen Porter
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In this age where we are increasingly concerned about the protection of our home and its contents, more of us are considering the use of, and installing CCTV.  But where does this leave us when the neighbour’s camera overlooks our garden or our home?  Helen Porter, Associate Solicitor who specialises in property-related disputes, advises on the remedies.

Causing a Nuisance: Tree Root Damage

Helen Porter
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Helen Porter here reviews two recent cases between neighbours regarding tree roots extending into properties, the importance of foreseeable risk, and gives guidance to commercial property owners on avoiding these risks.

Is your flue a safe flue?

Helen Porter
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Does your home have a gas central heating system? Is your boiler situated away from an external wall? If so, then it is likely that your flue runs through your wall or ceiling void and so you need to be considering having new inspections hatches installed, warns Helen Porter, Litigation Lawyer.

Distress or Relief

Helen Porter
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Commercial tenants have never been in favour of their landlord, or more usually a bailiff, turning up unannounced and seizing their goods in order to recover arrears of rent.  However, they will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as the common law remedy of distress is being abolished and replaced by Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”) from 6 April 2014.

Whose pitch is it anyway?

Helen Porter
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Acquiring land by adverse possession is the process by which a person who is not the legal owner of the land can become the legal owner by possessing the land for a specified period of time.  Here we review a recent case and the implications this has on the future of land possession.

Landowners can stop the clock on public usage rights

Helen Porter
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Public use of privately owned open spaces is on the line following the introduction of legislation that allows landowners to bring to an end recreational use of land as a village or town green.  Helen Porter, Head of Litigation at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman Commercial, advises here how the new law could open the way to more building development by giving landowners the chance to challenge usage rights to prevent registration of village greens.

Advice for landlords after recent tenancy deposit ruling

Helen Porter
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The Government has now responded to the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling on another tenancy deposit issue which has caused consternation for many landlords.  Here Helen Porter, Head of Warner Goodman Commercial’s litigation department, reviews the case and advises how landlords should proceed.

Certain Overriding Interests to Lose Status

Helen Porter
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On 12 October 2013, the ten year transitional period under the Land Registration Act 2002 (‘the Act’) will draw to a close and a small number of interests in land will lose their status as ‘overriding interests’.

An ‘overriding interest’ is an interest that binds an owner or purchaser of land, despite no record of the interest appearing on the registered title.  Common overriding interests include short leases, certain easements and rights of people in actual occupation of the land.

The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013...what do they mean to you?

Helen Porter
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The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 came into force on 16 March 2013, bringing with them the need for businesses to review their current supply contracts.  Here Helen Porter, head of Warner Goodman Commercial’s Dispute Resolution Team, looks at what this means for you and your clients and advises the best course of action for the future.

You're going to have to fight for your right to light

Helen Porter
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New plans designed to encourage large building projects and increase the amount of homes available on the market could leave Hampshire residents in the dark as the Government plans changes to rights to light, warns the Commercial Property Team from Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP.

Court of Appeal decision in Budweiser trademark case

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The Court of Appeal has recently ruled against the US brewer, Anheuser-Busch Inc, in its attempt to prevent its Czech rival, Budejovicky Budvar Natodni Podnik, of its right to use the ‘Budweiser’ name in the UK.