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10 Feb 2023

Commercial litigation

Commercial Property

Dispute Resolution

Residential Property

What Is A Property Dispute?

When property is involved, any number of issues can crop up.

In short, a property dispute is when a conflict arises over a commercial or residential property.  

From disagreements about the legal ownership of a piece of land to an argument with regard to agricultural land to fallouts between a landlord and their tenant, property disputes are a prevalent problem. 

Property disputes can be especially difficult if it involves a residential home, such as if you’ve bought a house that is inhospitable due to black mould. 

Common property disputes can include, but are not limited to:

  1. Boundary disputes
  2. Breach of contract disputes
  3. Disputes between co-owners of a property 

1. Boundary Disputes

A common property dispute that occurs is a boundary dispute. These disputes often occur due to disagreements regarding where the property line falls. 

Boundary disputes are common between neighbours, but can even happen if the council is claiming to own part of the land that you own.  

A disagreement that is as simple as fighting with a neighbour over where the new fence should go can, if not handled correctly, prove costly, not only in terms of money but also in time and the stress that it causes. 

If you’re in a boundary dispute with your neighbour or the council, it’s important to seek legal advice from a solicitor.

2. Breach Of Contract Disputes

Another common property dispute is a dispute that occurs as a result of a breach of contract.

This can often happen between landlords and tenants, with a 2019 survey discovering  ‘that out of 755 residential landlords based in the UK, more than half of respondents have had disputes with their tenants’, highlighting how common they can be. 

For instance, if a tenancy agreement states that rent is due to be paid on a certain date, and a tenant is late in paying, the terms set out in their contract are not being upheld and they might be found to be in breach of contract.

In the same breath, if a landlord does not carry out their legal obligation to adhere to fire safety regulations, they could also be found to be in breach of contract.

If one party doesn’t live up to the obligations set out in the contract, then, they could be pursued for damages.

3. Disputes Between Co-Owners Of A Property 

Lastly, there are disputes between co-owners of a property. These disputes arise when a property is owned by more than one individual, and those owners disagree on an issue regarding the property.

Regardless of whether you’re involved in a dispute relating to a commercial or residential property, it is always recommended to seek legal advice from a specialist solicitor

A good solicitor will always look to find a resolution to any dispute first, and will only turn to litigation when attempts to resolve the issue have been unsuccessful.

What Is Property Litigation?

The most common form of property litigation usually includes resolving disputes between landlords and tenants. 

That said, it may also include concerns regarding the ownership of residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural property or any issues involving land.

Litigation refers to disputes that are resolved through the court system, after every attempt to resolve the dispute before it reaches this stage has failed. 

This is the reason why most parties resort to alternative dispute resolution before they then move on to litigation, as it is generally less expensive and contentious than settling matters in court. 

For the majority of people, it is easier to live with a decision reached through compromise and negotiation than one that is handed down by a judge, though court action always remains a viable last resort if negotiation is not possible.

Who Needs Property Litigation?

Anyone who owns a property, rents or leases property, whether that is privately or commercially, may at some point in time need the services of a solicitor who specialises in alternative dispute resolution and property litigation.

A solicitor can help by:

  • Assessing the dispute and advising you of your rights; and
  • Advising you on the best way to resolve the dispute and acting on your behalf through writing letters, attending mediation sessions, or engaging in talks.

At Harding Evans, we have solicitors who can advise on any property matter. 

From residential or commercial dispute resolution or litigation, purchasing a commercial property, entering into a commercial property lease, or residential conveyancing to help you buy, sell or remortgage your home, our specialist teams are here to help.

Contact us today for further information.

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