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.
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.
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.
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.