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If your legal problem is connected in any way to a piece of land, Desmond will tackle it (although he leaves planning law to others). His practice includes all kinds of disputes which arise out of developments and conveyancing, all types of commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters, as well as social housing problems (including homelessness). He acts for property owners, landlords and tenants and professional advisors at every stage. In the last year, he has been involved in: A claim by a man to a co-ownership share in the multi-million property portfolio and letting business of his former fiancee A rectification of title claim to establish easements of prescription so as to benefit a proposed development An action against a bridging finance company for failure to comply with their equitable duties when selling mortgaged property A service charge dispute where the leaseholders of a local authority are seeking to prevent the authority dispensing with consultation requirements A professional negligence dispute arising out of an inadequately drafted mortgage arrangement A nuisance case concerning damage caused by naturally flowing water A number of business tenancy claims, rent reviews, boundary and other neighbour disputes, possession and disrepair actions
If a section 42 notice has been ineffectively served, is the tenant still liable for the costs of the landlord?
If a service charge demand names the freeholder as two individuals when actually only one of them owns the freehold, would this invalidate the demand?
If seeking possession of an assured shorthold tenancy based in Wales, can the new Form No 6A be used?
If the transfer of a piece of land by a local authority in 1986 contained provisions for the purchaser to offer the property back to the local authority with the offer to repurchase to be open for a period of four months and the purchaser sells the property to a third party, failing to comply with these provisions what is the effect on the second transfer? Does the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964 come into force?
If there are three flats in the building and one person is the tenant of all three, would that party be entitled to acquire the freehold by way of right of first refusal? Similarly, if the same party is an undertenant for three underleases of all three flats, would that party be entitled to acquire the freehold by way of right of first refusal?
If two adjoining neighbours cannot agree the ownership of the hedge boundary, and one refuses to let the other trim or maintain ‘their side’ of the hedge, who has the burden of proving ownership and what do they need to prove (eg root location)? The previous owners believed the hedge boundary was shared.
In a dilapidations dispute where a landlord makes clear that it does not intend to carry out any works (including works that fall outside of 'repair' and therefore not within the ambit of any potential cap under section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927) because it intends to sell the premises, are its losses limited to the diminution in value as it is not incurring a loss in the costs of work?
In a transfer of equity between a husband and wife where the wife is transferring her share of the property to the husband in return for a monetary settlement from the husband how should the transaction and consideration be described in the TR1 and which panels should be used?
In anticipation of completing a commercial lease excluding the security of tenure provisions, a warning notice was served on the tenant more than 14 days ago anticipating that the tenant would complete a statutory declaration. The tenant has signed and dated the declaration but not in front of a solicitor. Can that declaration now validly be considered a simple declaration?
In relation to an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) for a fixed 2-year period and provisions that it then becomes a contractual periodic tenancy, is it necessary to give notice at the end of the 2-year AST to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term? If so how should this be effected?
In the case of a tenancy by estoppel, will the agreement created be that which was intended by the parties, (in our case an assured shorthold tenancy (AST)), where the tenancy would otherwise be an AST, but for the landlord having no title to grant the tenancy?
Is a residential periodic secure tenancy (eg secure tenancy for a council flat) deemed a conveyance under section 205 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925)? If so, will it include the easements under LPA 1925, s 62?
Is a squatter entitled to make an adverse possession claim against the freehold proprietor in the event that the head leasehold title on which the land is actually held has since been voluntarily disclaimed by a company in liquidation?
Is it a legal requirement for a landlord to carry out an assessment for external wall construction of a residential building and complete form EWS1 and can a landlord recover the costs of such an assessment through service charges?
Is it possible for tenants who wish to exercise their right of first refusal under Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 to seek an extension of time for serving their acceptance notice?
Is it possible to acquire an easement by prescription over a highway maintainable at the public expense, for example a right to put out tables and chairs in front of a public house?
Is it possible to claim adverse possession to land owned by a council, but incorporated in the claimant’s private garden by a retaining wall? The retaining wall was built by the council in the 1980s and there has been no effort made by the council to take their land back.
Is it possible to forfeit an equitable lease (due to failure to register where the term exceeds seven years), assuming the lease contains a forfeiture provision in respect of the relevant breach?
Is it possible to grant an assured shorthold tenancy agreement subject to a condition being met ie subject to the tenant proving it has the right to rent?
Is there a difference between ‘vacate’ and ‘give up occupation’?
Property Bar Association
Chancery Bar Association
Founder Member of Social Housing Law Association
Inner Temple Examination Scholar (1990)
University of Southampton (LLB (Hons) 2.1)
Kings College, London (LLM)
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