We appreciate that rushing into court is not the only option available when a dispute arises; often the issues in hand can be resolved quickly by an alternative method avoiding the complex time consuming process of a fully litigated dispute.
Davies and Partners offer a unique range of Dispute Resolution techniques, which can be tailored to suit your situation; combining the skills of our highly experienced litigation lawyers with their specialist skills in Mediation, Arbitration and Adjudication.
For the majority, home ownership is the fulfilment of a dream. However, if the property suffers from any sort of problem, that dream can become a nightmare and we recognise it can be aggravated by the process of finding a remedial solution.
We have experience acting for both homeowners and developers in matters involving building defects and related claims of property damage. This damage may vary from straightforward snags to major infrastructure issues, causing subsidence or flooding.
We endeavour to work with our clients to find the best option for them, depending on the case complexity, value and any contract conditions. We believe the fact we act for developers, builders and homeowners, places us in a unique position, enabling us to see all the angles, and which we can use for the benefit of our clients.
With a system of property registration in place, ownership should be straight forward. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When property ownership is shared, a host of issues can arise; are the owners interests equal, does the registered ownership reflect the owners’ respective intentions and interests, what happens if one owner wants to leave the ownership arrangement?
Unravelling and resolving the issues that sometimes come with joint ownership of land or property can be complex. It may involve a combination of trust law, forensic accounting, as well as knowledge of the relevant statutory framework.
Our Property Dispute Team has the skill set and experience to provide practical advice and action in what are often emotionally involved cases.
From time to time it may be important to know and understand whether property is owned subject to, or with the benefit of, certain rights. If so, what is the extent of those rights and who can exercise them?
An easement allows the benefiting property owner to enjoy a right over another’s land, for example, a right of way or a right to use water pipes or drains.
In contrast, covenants can be restrictive or positive. They may impose a positive obligation, such as to maintain a fence, or be restrictive in nature, such as preventing the use of a property for business purposes.
Easements and covenants can cause disagreements which escalate quickly causing the two sides to become entrenched.
We are well placed to give practical advice. It may be that there is a need to protect rights to prevent interference, or to enforce or modify covenants. We can advise on the appropriate process and forum and look for opportunities to negotiate or mediate as a means of avoiding litigation costs.
We act for both landlords and tenants in a wide range of commercial and residential matters.
This means we have the insight to understand disputes regarding lease obligations from both sides of the fence.
Our Property Dispute Team has extensive experience in relation to landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities, including:
We work closely with our Commercial Property Team to try and resolve issues before they escalate, providing a cost-effective solution for our clients.
In those cases where there is disagreement, we have experienced lawyers who give step by step guidance through the pre-action process and litigation, providing much needed support and assistance where emotions are running high and time is running low.
Determining a boundary is not as simple as drawing a straight line between neighbouring properties.
The law surrounding boundary disputes is complex and requires a review of a wide range of evidence, from the legal construction of documents and the parties’ conduct, to Ordnance Survey maps and planning permissions.
To add to the complexity, legal boundaries may well differ from physical features on the land, which are subject to natural movement and change over time.
We understand that establishing the position of a boundary can be vital. Neighbours embroiled in disputes will find it difficult to sell their property, and property prices may be adversely affected as a result.
To avoid unnecessary stress and costs, constructive advice is needed early on. We advise clients on the best course of action to take and help avoid often bitter court proceedings where possible.
‘The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. A building owner proposing to start work covered by the Act, must give owners notice of their intentions in the way set down in the Act’ (extracted form Government guidance notes on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996).
The requirements of the Act and its implementation are easily overlooked or misinterpreted, and this can give rise to injunction claims and claims in trespass and nuisance.
We receive instructions from developers and individuals planning on building works on or near a party structure, as well as from neighbouring owners in receipt of a Notice or affected by building works. We are able to provide advice on legal rights and duties in relation to the Act, and we often liaise with Party Wall Surveyors in order to find solutions. If all else fails, we have experience litigating party wall related claims.
Most commercial leases require the tenant to return its landlords property in a good state of repair when the lease comes to an end. For the landlord it is important in order to avoid a waste of time and money redecorating or carrying out structural repairs.
Where there is disagreement over the extent of the repairs or the amount claimed in order to carry them out, our team can provide guidance on the pre-action steps that have to be followed and any subsequent Court process. We have acted in dilapidations claims for both landlords and tenants. We have worked with specialist surveyors. We understand the value of alternative dispute resolution and see this as an area where mediation is particularly well suited.
In the world of ‘buy to let’, recovering possession of property from a tenant can be fraught with difficulties. For a majority of landlords, the potential issues are rarely experienced, but when a ‘problem’ tenant is encountered, it can quickly become a painstaking and expensive process to remove them.
The legal requirements for letting domestic property are not only complex but are constantly changing. To avoid the pitfalls of possession proceedings, documentation must be in order and up to date at the outset. When Notices are issued, strict time limits have to be observed. At every step there has to be compliance with statutory requirements.
We provide a comprehensive service to domestic landlords, including preparation of Tenancy Agreements, advice on Notices and taking possession proceedings. We give practical advice on the most appropriate letting arrangements and ensure any Court proceedings are pursued effectively and efficiently.