Disputes with Landlords

For many of us, renting a property can offer many advantages compared to owning a home. However, when a tenant discovers a problem with the property, it is the responsibility of the landlord to put things right. This is when disputes can sometimes begin.

 

Disputes with a Landlord

As a tenant in a rented property, dealing with your housing problem can be a stressful experience. You may have moved into your property and discovered there are lots of problems with repairs. Alternatively, you may lose your job and wonder how you will pay the rent. You may be in a house share and experience problems with neighbouring tenants. Alternatively, your landlord may wish to repossess the property and you have nowhere else to go.

Fisher Meredith’s landlord and tenant solicitors can advise tenants facing the following problems:

  • Tenancy status and your rights, e.g. if you are given notice to vacate your home and are unsure how to proceed next.
  • Representation at court to those defending possession proceedings or warrants to evict, and to occupiers who are unlawfully evicted and wish to obtain compensation/reinstatement to a property.
  • To those who have purchased property under a long lease, advice on disputes regarding service charges or management of the building and advice on lease extensions. Please read our Service Charge Dispute factsheet for more information challenging a service charge that you consider to be unreasonable.
  • Representation at court to those wishing to obtain compensation for disrepair and those who need repairs carried out. If works are urgent we can assist in applying for an emergency injunction.
  • Representation to those who face losing their home through allegations of anti social behaviour.
  • Assistance in respect of tenancy deposit schemes and how deposits should be protected and disputes resolved. Our landlord and tenant solicitors have prepared Disputes with Landlords over a Tenancy Deposit factsheet that provides information in relation to compliance with the law on deposit for private rented housing.

Many of our services are offered on a fixed fee basis – please see the Fees tab above.

If you are made homeless, our Housing law solicitors can offer further advice.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our landlord and tenant solicitors, please contact our helpline on 0800 014 7445.

Important things to consider

The law relating to landlord and tenant can be very confusing. Fisher Meredith has a dedicated team of landlord and tenant solicitors with a wide knowledge of the housing sector and prevailing market conditions. To assist you in dealing with your housing problem effectively you should:

  • Make sure you keep a copy of your tenancy agreement in a safe place.
  • Request regular rent statements from your landlord so you can check all rent payments.
  • Make sure that you report all disrepair to your landlord in writing and keep a copy of your letters.
  • Ensure that you open all post received at the property and addressed to The Occupier. If dealing with an agency, make sure that you are given a full name and address for your landlord.
  • Ensure that there is an inventory prepared at the beginning of the tenancy and that you agree its content.
  • Make sure you keep a written note of all matters in connection with your tenancy in chronological date order.

Our landlord and tenant solicitors may be able to assist you in preventing eviction or in improving your housing conditions or asserting rights under your tenancy or lease.

However, in all cases it is important that you receive legal advice as quickly as possible.

Why use Fisher Meredith?

Fisher Meredith is an award winning London law firm with offices in Richmond, Surrey and Kennington, London. Our landlord and tenant solicitors have an outstanding reputation for acting on behalf of individuals with highly successful results.

For 35 years, Fisher Meredith has developed a reputation for being approachable and “going the extra mile” for its clients whilst maintaining ethical and socially responsible standards.

Fisher Meredith’s Housing law department is ranked as Band 2 in Chambers and Partners UK and Tier 4 in the Legal 500 directory.

Our landlord and tenant solicitors provide specialist advice and representation to tenants with difficult housing disputes and have extensive experience in dealing with complex issues arising from the landlord and tenant relationship.

Our fees

We structure our fees to incorporate a range of fixed fees for tenants seeking advice on disrepair, tenancy deposit disputes, notices in possession proceedings, and general advice.

These fees are “capped” rather than “fixed”. If your case requires less work than allowed for in the fixed fee, you will be charged at our normal hourly rate for the time incurred. For details please see the Fees tab above.

If you have an insurance policy which includes legal expenses insurance, we recommend that you check this carefully to see if it will cover your legal costs. If you have legal expenses cover for your housing matter, or if you need help checking your policy, please tell us.

You may be eligible for advice on housing law matters through legal aid. We have a housing law contract from the Legal Services Commission. If you obtain legal aid the costs of your case may be wholly or partially paid for from public funds. Legal aid is only available to those with limited means.

Please ask us for details if you think you may be eligible for legal aid.

What should I do now?

If you are a residential tenant and have a dispute with the landlord, a Housing Association or local authority, our landlord and tenant solicitors are committed to listening to your needs and working hard to obtain the best possible outcomes in respect of your housing problems.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our landlord and tenant solicitors, please contact our helpline on 0800 014 7445.

Key Contacts

Alireza Nurbakhsh

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2835
Email

Kevin Reay

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2792
Email

Dianne Cowie

Solicitor
+44 (0)20 7091 2712
Email

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Fees

It is important for clients to have a good idea of the potential costs when seeking advice and/or representation in a housing matter.

We structure our fees to incorporate a range of fixed fees for tenants seeking advice on disrepair, tenancy deposit disputes, notices in possession proceedings, and general advice.

These fees are “capped” rather than “fixed”. If your case requires less work than allowed for in the fixed fee, you will be charged at our normal hourly rate for the time incurred.

Capped Fixed Fees

Suggested Fee, £
(incl VAT)
 

Disrepair dispute – Pre-Action Protocol

Standard capped fee includes the following:- 

  • consultation (in person or by phone) up to an hour advising you about your disrepair claim
  • a follow-up letter confirming our advice
  • an initial letter to your landlord under the Disrepair Pre-Action Protocol
  • if appropriate, a letter to your landlord setting out your settlement proposals
  • if appropriate, advice about whether and how you can terminate your tenancy agreement
550 

 

 

Tenancy deposit dispute

Consultation (in person or by phone) up to an hour advising you about your tenancy deposit claim 180
Follow up work if required, to include 

  • a letter setting out our advice
  • an initial letter to your landlord setting out details of your claim
  • if appropriate, a letter to your landlord setting out your settlement proposals
180 
All of the above 360 
 

Notice before possession proceedings

Consultation (in person or by phone) up to an hour including advice on a notice seeking possession, notice requiring possession or notice to quit 150
Follow up work if required, to include 

  • a letter setting out our initial advice
  • if appropriate, a letter to your landlord in response to the notice
150
All of the above 300 
 

Service charge disputes

Consultation (in person or by phone) up to an hour including advice on your service charge dispute 180
Follow up work if required, to include 

  • a letter setting out our initial advice
  • an initial letter to your landlord setting out details of your claim
270
All of the above 450 
 

Complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman or Housing Ombudsman

Consultation (in person or by phone) and initial advice 250
Considering documents and drafting complaint 750
Considering response and further advice 250
All of the above 1250 
 

Other charges

First meeting – We will discuss your case with you and provide you with diagnostic advice and provide a letter of advice. 250
Hourly rates – which apply thereafter: £ (excl VAT)
Senior Solicitors: Jenny Hunt, Ann Bevington, Dianne Cowie 200
Solicitors: Jenny White and Laura Coyle 170
Junior solicitors: Victoria Fewkes and Sally Cheshire 150
Trainee solicitor or paralegal 110-120

Legal expenses insurance

If you have an insurance policy which includes legal expenses insurance, we recommend that you check this carefully to see if it will cover your legal costs. If you have legal expenses cover for your housing matter, or if you need help with checking your policy, please tell us.

Legal Aid

You may be eligible for advice on housing law matters through legal aid. We have a housing law contract from the Legal Services Commission. If you obtain legal aid the costs of your case may be wholly or partially paid for from public funds. Legal aid is only available to those with limited means.

Please ask us for details if you think you may be eligible for legal aid.