Landlord & Tenant – Residential Property

A complex & highly technical area of the law that requires specialists to ensure you and your property are properly protected.

For Commercial Landlords & Tenants, please click here.

Lease Disputes

Our property lawyers are responsible for drafting sound and robust leases to ensure that the recovery of ground rent and service charge payments, which are the key to strong property management for property managers or agents (and even freeholders themselves) and to retain value in key assets.

Our property lawyers and our litigation team work together to ensure that landlords and freeholders are property protected when it comes to the recovery of service charge payments.  Leaseholders in default can provide real challenges in running a successful property block and our experienced team are here to ensure that proper systems are in place to secure the early recovery and to prevent future arrears.

We work in a strategic way to secure recoveries quickly and robustly, whether this is by using all options available under the lease or a straightforward debt recovery approach.  We have experiencing in securing payment from lenders as a final resort but also in dealing with difficult tenants in justifying a landlord’s service charge expenditure. We’ve acted for individual one-off landlords but also large management companies with large blocks under management as well as individual tenants through to groups of tenants mounting challenges to disproportionate and unreasonable service charge demands.

Our specialist property lawyers can advise you through the minefield of legislation and regulation in connection with the extension of a residential property lease.  We can assist in the following areas:

  • Defending a tenant’s challenge to service charges in the First-Tier Tribunal
  • Dealing with straightforward service charge and ground rent recoveries
  • Major works disputes – advising on the consultation process under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985
  • Advising a landlord on its obligations to service charge accountability
  • Raising a tenant’s request for information or advising a landlord on compliance;
  • Dealing with absent freeholders and any non-compliance with a long residential lease

Our experienced property lawyers and our litigation team have advised on large numbers of long residential lease disputes.  We have dealt with challenges to the First Tier Tribunal and have successfully obtained relief from forfeiture on behalf of tenants in properties throughout Essex and in London.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Lee Emptage

Director, Head of Department
01702 238520
lee.emptage@btmk.co.uk

Ian Powell

Director, Head of Department
01702 238511
ian.powell@btmk.co.uk

Sean Callaghan

Senior Solicitor
01702 238510
sean.callaghan@btmk.co.uk

William Todman

Consultant Solicitor
01268 774073
william.todman@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Lee Emptage – Director, Head of Department
01702 238520

Ian Powell – Director, Head of Department
01702 238511

Sean Callaghan – Senior Solicitor
01702 238510

William Todman – Consultant Solicitor
01268 774073

Lease Extensions

Our specialist property lawyers can advise you through the minefield of legislation and regulation in connection with the extension of a residential property lease.  The process for applying for and obtaining an extension of the period of a long residential lease can be tricky. The rules are strict and rigorously adhered to whether it’s in relation to the notice or the counter-notice.  Our dedicated property lawyers at BTMK work hand-in-hand with our litigation team and deal with all of the following:

  • Assessing the qualifying criteria
  • Instructing a suitable valuer to determine the value of a lease extension;
  • Preparing and arranging for service of the Notice or Counter-Notice on the opponent and any interested parties that must be served;
  • Litigating contested lease renewals in the First Tier Tribunal (and beyond if necessary), relating to effective service of the Notice/Counter-Notice, valuation issues or any other issue arising out of the lease extension
  • Drafting or Reviewing a replacement lease and securing registration
  • Dealing with lenders throughout the lease extension process

Our experienced property lawyers and our litigation team have advised on large numbers of lease extensions, including those with complex backgrounds such as absentee freeholders and those with particularly high-value premiums in prime areas of London.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Fiona McAnaw

Director, Head of Department
01702 238541 fiona.mcanaw@btmk.co.uk

Louise Mickleburgh

Solicitor
01702 238517
louise.mickleburgh@btmk.co.uk

Lee Emptage

Director, Head of Department
01702 238520
lee.emptage@btmk.co.uk

Christopher Maddison

Director, Head of Department
01702 221972
chris.maddison@btmk.co.uk

William Todman

Consultant Solicitor
01268 774073
william.todman@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Fiona McAnaw – Director, Head of Department
01702 238541

Nadia Fabri – Solicitor
01702 238536

Louise Mickleburgh – Solicitor
01702 238517

Lee Emptage – Director, Head of Department
01702 238520

Christopher Maddison – Director, Head of Department
01702 221972

William Todman – Consultant Solicitor
01268 774073

Rent Arrears

We specialise in advising landlords on the recovery of rent arrears.  Prevention is always better than cure and so we specialise in that too.  This can take the format of giving advice on carrying out proper background referencing checks on tenants through your property or letting agent but usually takes the format of securing and drafting personal guarantees on the rent and other covenants in the tenancy agreements to give landlords the best protection.

If the worst comes to the worst, we’ll use all of our litigation and dispute resolution skills to try and recover rent arrears on your behalf. We recognise that simply issuing court proceedings is not always the best method, particularly if an outgoing tenant cannot be located. However, we can use our network of enquiry agents to locate a disappearing tenant and to help you assess whether pursuing a particular tenant is likely to result in a successful outcome for you. We’re not here to waste your time or your money – we’re here to give you the most commercial advice to ensure you come back to us time and time again.

We can also advise in relation to litigation against those who have given a personal guarantee against the rent or other breaches of the lease terms.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Fiona McAnaw

Director, Head of Department
01702 238541
fiona.mcanaw@btmk.co.uk

Sean Callaghan

Senior Solicitor
01702 238510
sean.callaghan@btmk.co.uk

Louise Mickleburgh

Solicitor
01702 238517
louise.mickleburgh@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Fiona McAnaw – Director, Head of Department
01702 238541

Sean Callaghan – Senior Solicitor
01702 238510

Nadia Fabri – Solicitor
01702 238536

Louise Mickleburgh – Solicitor
01702 238517

Fixed Fee Possession

Tenants can be in breach of their lease for many reasons. When this happens you need robust and decisive action to be taken, whether it’s the immediate recovery of possession for non-payment of rent or proceedings for possession.  This area of work is a minefield of regulation and legislation and we’ll help you navigate it safely. Tactical advice plays a huge part in these situations.

We are renowned for our expertise in recovering possession of residential property for landlords. We receive instructions from many of the specialist lettings agencies in South Essex, as well as from landlords directly and we deal with all work on a fixed fee basis. Download a copy of our price list here. Most of the frustrations felt by landlords when recovering possession of their property relates to tenants already being in arrears of rent, or some other breach of tenancy agreement or simply wanting their property back at the end of a fixed term.  The Courts are becoming busier and the process therefore takes longer. The last thing a landlord needs is the possession hearing not being successful because of a technical problem with the Notices that have been served or some other defect with the proceedings. That’s why you need lawyers that specialise in this area, that understand the current regime, which changes regularly, and to spot errors with agreements or statutory notices before the matter gets to Court.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Fiona McAnaw

Director, Head of Department
01702 238541
fiona.mcanaw@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Fiona McAnaw – Director, Head of Department
01702 238541

Nadia Fabri – Solicitor
01702 238536

Louise Mickleburgh – Solicitor
01702 238517

Squatters

The litigation solicitors at BTMK have strong experience in dealing with individuals who have entered either commercial or residential property without the owner’s permission – what is commonly referred to as squatter eviction.  We have represented many landlords of commercial and residential property in prompt action to recover their asset, being commercial where necessary in our advice to ensure that costs are kept in check and the end in sight.

The requirement to be even more commercial in our advice for squatter evictions is driven by the pressures on the Court and law enforcement which means that the process of removing squatters can be slower than in previous years.  We have been instructed to act on behalf of landlords of prime real estate in central London as well as residential properties throughout Essex over the last few years.

Court proceedings are usually issued in the County Court but can also be issued in the High Court where appropriate.  Speed is of the essence and there is a significant amount of work to be done before the hearing date is listed, which can usually be arranged within a week of issue of the claim for possession.  The responsibility of serving the sealed court papers lies with the landlord and therefore our network of process servers and security agents are critical in ensuring that an effective hearing can take place once service of the papers has been effected.

The Court can be expected to make an Order for possession at the hearing if the squatters have not filed a defence.  The order is enforced by Court bailiffs or alternatively, by High Court Enforcement Officers.

We can advise landlords on Interim Possession Orders (“IPO”) where appropriate, where, for example possession is required for an urgent or specific purpose.  The main benefit of an IPO is that many squatters will leave of their own free will rather than risk being arrested as the failure to comply with an IPO after 24 hours after which time their continued occupation becomes a criminal offence.

Note that if the occupier has previously held a tenancy agreement of residential property, and has not left or has breached the terms of the agreement in any other way, they will not be regarded as a squatter and you should click here to see the possession services that we offer as a specialist area within BTMK for residential landlords using our fixed fee possession scheme.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Fiona McAnaw

Director, Head of Department
01702 238541
fiona.mcanaw@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Fiona McAnaw – Director, Head of Department
01702 238541

Nadia Fabri – Solicitor
01702 238536

Louise Mickleburgh – Solicitor
01702 238517

Collective Enfranchisements

Our specialist property lawyers can advise you through the minefield of legislation and regulation in connection with the enfranchisement of a residential property lease.  The process for applying for and obtaining an enfranchisement of a long residential lease can be tricky. The rules are strict and rigorously adhered to whether it’s in relation to the notice or the counter-notice.  Our dedicated property lawyers at BTMK work hand-in-hand with our litigation team and deal with the process and make it as smooth as possible for the qualifying tenant or group of tenants.

What is Leasehold Enfranchisement?

Essentially, it is the right by qualifying leaseholders to acquire the freehold or to obtain a lease extension.  There are principally three categories of claims that can be brought and the legislation is difficult to navigate.  Different rules apply if you live in the house and the larger the unit of properties, the more difficult the claims become because of the differing leases and lengths of leases which may apply.

At BTMK, we can assist you with all of the following:

  • Assessing the qualifying criteria
  • Preparing and arranging for service of the Notice or Counter-Notice on the opponent and any interested parties that must be served;
  • Advising on valuation issues and the instruction of appropriate experts
  • Bring or defend proceedings in the First Tier Tribunal if terms cannot be agreed between a landlord (freeholder) and tenant (leaseholder)

Our experienced property lawyers and our litigation team have advised on large numbers of leasehold and collective enfranchisements , including those with complex backgrounds such as absentee freeholders and those with particularly high-value premiums in prime areas of London.

If you’re thinking of applying to acquire your freehold or if you’re a freeholder and you’ve been served with a notice by your leaseholder or leaseholders, come and speak to the experts at BTMK.

Adam Fleming

Director, Head of Department
01702 238519
adam.fleming@btmk.co.uk

Tony Briscoe

Senior Solicitor
01702 238530
tony.briscoe@btmk.co.uk

Fiona McAnaw

Director, Head of Department
01702 238541
fiona.mcanaw@btmk.co.uk

Louise Mickleburgh

Solicitor
01702 238517
louise.mickleburgh@btmk.co.uk

Sean Callaghan

Senior Solicitor
01702 238510
sean.callaghan@btmk.co.uk

William Todman

Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980
william.todman@btmk.co.uk

Adam Fleming – Director, Head of Department
01702 238519

Tony Briscoe – Senior Solicitor
01702 238530

Fiona McAnaw – Director, Head of Department
01702 238541

Louise Mickleburgh – Solicitor
01702 238517

Sean Callaghan – Senior Solicitor
01702 238510

William Todman – Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980

Agreements & Contracts

We can take care of all of your drafting requirements.  We draft straightforward tenancy agreements through to bespoke agreements for high value properties or agricultural land.  We also draft specialist personal guarantees if a parent or other party is to give a guarantee for rent or other obligations under the tenancy agreement.  We can advise you on the documentation you require, and we have networks of contacts such as property letting agents or enquiry agents should you require a more bespoke service to be provided.  We are specialists in drafting Notices to Quit and in advising you on the procedure should you need to take back possession due to substantial rent arrears.

Lee Emptage

Director, Head of Department
01268 211999
lee.emptage@btmk.co.uk

Sean Callaghan

Senior Solicitor
01702 238510
sean.callaghan@btmk.co.uk

William Todman

Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980
william.todman@btmk.co.uk

Lee Emptage – Director, Head of Department
01268 211999

Beau Borg – Solicitor
01268 211996

Leigh Scott – Solicitor
01268 211997

Sean Callaghan – Senior Solicitor
01702 238510

William Todman – Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980

Remortgaging/Refinancing

We have many specialists at BTMK that can guide you through and execute a complex refinancing arrangements.  Our experts have previously dealt with the refinancing of property portfolios consisting of hundreds of residential buy-to-let properties, and we understand the intricacies of the lender’s requirements, managing tenancy agreements and any possession-related issues.  We can also deal with the re-mortgage of individual or a smaller number of properties and for those matters, we can often provide this service very cost effectively using our conveyancing team at BTMK Marcus Baum. We will discuss your requirements with you first, ensure that you and we will be able to meet the lender’s requirements and also deal with complex re-financing relating to properties held in a Limited Company holding.

Lee Emptage

Director, Head of Department
01268 211999
lee.emptage@btmk.co.uk

William Todman

Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980
william.todman@btmk.co.uk

Sean Callaghan

Senior Solicitor
01702 238510
sean.callaghan@btmk.co.uk

Christopher Maddison

Director, Head of Department
01702 221972
chris.maddison@btmk.co.uk

Lee Emptage – Director, Head of Department
01268 211999

William Todman – Consultant Solicitor
01268 211980

Sean Callaghan – Senior Solicitor
01702 238510

Christopher Maddison – Director, Head of Department
01702 221972

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