Leasehold Legal Disputes
Disputes can often arise between freeholders and leaseholders over the terms of a lease. These disagreements can take many forms, but are normally concerning issues such as service charges, subletting, consents for alterations to your property and rent reviews.
Because these issues relate to your home, they can be highly stressful to deal with, which is why our specialist leasehold dispute solicitors are here to help. We understand that the deeds and lease documents can often be complex, archaic documents and we will explain them in simplistic layman terms, so that you can understand your position. We then work with you to get a resolution on your leasehold disputes in as quick and efficient a manner as possible.
We advise both freeholders and leaseholders on the interpretation of leases and their rights and obligations.
Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors?
Our specialist leasehold dispute team is recognised as an industry leader. And with more than four decades of experience, you know you’re in safe hands when you instruct Hodge Jones & Allen to act on your behalf.
We also understand leasehold property, which is vital in helping your case. Leasehold property is dominant throughout London and widely used around the country. But it is a bespoke area that the average solicitor will not understand, so you need a specialist leasehold dispute solicitor to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Fortunately, our team have specific experience of operating in this niche area. We cannot stress enough that it is not as easy as reading one term of the lease and thinking you have a correct answer. Leases should be pervasively read, and our eagle-eyed team will ensure the correct terms are read in conjunction with each other.
We work with both freeholders and leaseholders in these disputes, so have the experience needed to help, whatever the challenge.
Our team can help you to prepare a strategy on how to engage with the other parties to your lease, putting you in a position of strength in any dispute.
Should matters become contentious, we can often resolve your dispute by providing legal clarity. If you need to take further legal action, our team can provide all the experience you need to settle your dispute in the courts and tribunals, or fight your corner at trial in order to maximise your chances of success.
At all times, we will operate cost-effectively and ensure you are getting value for money.
Advice for Freeholders
Our team of expert leasehold dispute solicitors can help with the rights and obligations of leaseholders and freeholders, such as:
- Securing payment from leaseholders for major works improvement under the terms of the lease
- Consultation requirements required from freeholders before carrying out major building work
- Recovery of service charges owed
- Resolving lease disputes
- Presenting your case to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) or Court.
“Would highly recommend this law firm service was second to none.”
Advice for Leaseholders
Our friendly and approachable solicitors have a vast amount of experience helping leaseholders in a number of ways, including:
- Challenging excessive or unreasonable service charges, particularly for section 20 major works
- Making sure the correct procedure for leaseholder consultation has been followed before levying charges for major works
- Disputing the need to carry out works
- Ensuring works are carried out properly
- Obtaining management rights or buying your freehold. Known as “enfranchisement” or “Right to Manage”
- Obtaining consents
- Challenging changes to your lease
- Challenging the freeholders failure to carry out repairs
- Making sure the lease contains power for the freeholder to recover the heads of expenditure from you
- Presenting your case to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) or Court
Client gets considerable reduction of invoice.
Our client, Mr Y owned a flat where he received a major works service charge invoice for considerable structural alterations to the building containing the flat.
Our solicitors reviewed his title documents and lease. Whilst interpreting the lease, it transpired that not all the invoice could be charged to Mr Y.
Our solicitors sent a robust letter explaining the position, and the management agency charging the invoice agreed to a considerable reduction of the invoice.
Our client, Mr Y owned a flat where he received a major works service charge invoice for considerable structural alterations to the building containing the flat. Our solicitors reviewed his title documents and lease. Whilst interpreting the lease, it transpired that not all the invoice could be charged to Mr Y. Our solicitors sent a robust letter explaining the position, and the management agency charging the invoice agreed to a considerable reduction of the invoice.
Why do I have to pay service charges for the communal areas of my building?
There will usually be a contractual requirement for you to contribute towards the upkeep of the building in which your property is based. You should check your title deeds and your lease, which should detail what parts of the communal areas you must contribute towards.
How much should the service charge be?
This will be dictated by the amount the landlord spends on services to the building. However, where the leaseholders own residential properties, then the law states that service charges must be reasonably incurred. Therefore, residential leaseholders do have protection from landlords incurring unreasonable service charges.
The landlord is supposed to repair the communal roof, but has not done so, what happens next?
The lease terms should be carefully considered to ensure that the landlord is actually responsible for repairing the roof, if this is the case, then a leaseholder should write to the landlord informing the landlord that the repairs need to be carried out.
This gives the landlord notice of the issues. If after a reasonable period of time the landlord has still not carried out the repairs, then the leaseholder should seek legal advice.