Case Round Up
As we hurtle towards the end of the year – here are a few cases that have kept us busy over the last couple of months;
1. Making corrections at the Land Registry
Our client had purchased the freehold of a leasehold development.
Some of the leaseholders at the development were interested in extending their leases. Upon investigation at the Land Registry there was confusion as the leasehold titles showed up on two freehold titles, both the retained land and the land which had been transferred out of the larger estate and subsequently procured by our client. Our client’s concern was that the records seemed to show that legally there were 2 owners of the same freehold.
After some investigation and numerous lengthy discussions with the Land Registry we were able to correct the position. There had been a mistake and the leasehold interests should have been removed from the freehold title of the retained land at the point of purchase.
Now that we have been able to unravel the situation, the new owners can proceed to extend their leases with no concern.
2. Noise Nuisance
A perennial residential dispute of course relates to noise nuisance.
With our experience and expertise of dealing with disputes based not only under the terms of a lease but the law of torts, we have represented our client in successfully defending a matter of alleged noise nuisance.
The remedies available to successful claimants can be significant. It is essential to be fully appraised of the law in this area and how it applies to your situation at the earliest opportunity.
3. Title disputes featuring Adverse Possession
The past couple of months have seen an influx of cases relating to ownership of land and specifically disputes involving arguments of adverse possession.
We have and continue to represent clients both in recovering property as well as acquiring property. The subject properties are themselves quite varied, from central London 18th Century Vaults to residential garages serving leasehold estates.
Look out for our specific article concerning the ownership of Vaults in the near future.
4. Finding peaceful solutions for breaches of lease.
The most common breach of lease that we deal with is a failure of a tenant to make payment of their rent to the Landlord. Although often treated as a simple debt recovery, it is of course a breach of the terms of a lease and can give rise to a landlord’s right to forfeit the lease and take possession.
Recently LMP Law have come across a few less common breaches that are of note:
• Pets – our client had started to receive some complaints about a boisterous dog being kept in one of their neighbour’s flats during the day. We helped open communication between all parties and a new home was eventually found for the dog. We were able to rely on a clause within the lease that did not allow tenants to have pets unless they have consent from the Landlord. Our client’s costs were also recovered.
• Alterations – It’s tricky sometimes for parties to know exactly what they are allowed to do within their own premises without triggering a breach of the lease. We worked closely with a Landlord to prepare a licence to alter to enable one of their leaseholders to carry out a loft conversion. There is normally a clause in leases that prevents alterations of the structure of the premises without the consent of the landlord.
• Use – leases sometimes only allow for a single family to occupy the flat. An issue had started to develop at one of our client’s estates as a leaseholder had regularly been allowing “friends” to live at the premises without any agreement in place. We were able to nip this in the bud by sending a legal notice. We watch this space to see whether the behaviour has ceased completely. There are further steps we can take if necessary. Often there is a clause within leases that state that leaseholders cannot sublet the premises without the written permission of the landlord and if the situation is not remedied then there is a real risk of forfeiture.
5. AST arrears and notices
Sadly, some of our clients who retain a portfolio of leasehold properties have been facing tenants falling behind on their rental payments.
We have been able to show flexibility on each particular matter. One size does not fill all! We are happy to work with our clients’ tenants and any other interested parties. Our clients have received rental payments and where necessary, formal notices have been prepared a served in advance of recovering possession of the property.
All of our AST related work is undertaken on attractive fixed fees which is favoured by our clients.
If we can be of help with any of your property management needs then we would love to hear from you.