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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
Is there a limitation period in which an application must be made to HM Land Registry to alter the register under schedule 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002?
Is there a set format for lists of documents for disclosure in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and does this require a signature or statement of truth in the same way as an N265 form in court proceedings?
Is there a simple solution where a statutory declaration has not been made as part of a completion which includes entering into a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 contracted out lease? The parties intended that the declaration should have been made, the lease correctly refers to it and the tenant received the relevant notices.
Is there any case law on a landlord rejecting a tenant’s notice to extend a lease under the enfranchisement legislation where the tenant’s notice does not specify the date by which the landlord’s counter notice must be served?
On the assignment of a commercial lease, is the landlord entitled to insist on a rent deposit from the assignee as a condition of consenting to the assignment if this is not included as a pre-condition to assignment in the lease, although there is a provision allowing the landlord to require a guarantor if this is reasonable?
Party A has died. A’s partner (not married to A nor in a civil partnership) has lived with A in A’s property for 20 years contributing around £100–£150 per week in cash towards food and some bills (but not towards the mortgage or general utilities) (the period for which such payments were made is not known). A’s executors require vacant possession to sell the property but A’s partner is refusing to leave. Does A’s partner have any rights over the property and, if not, what is the procedure for obtaining possession?
Under section 48 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, the tenant may apply to the court for an order where the lease has not been entered into within two months of the date on which the terms of the acquisition were agreed. Is this period calculated from the date on which the surveyors agree the terms for the lease or the date on which the form of the lease is agreed?
What are the remedies/options available to someone whose neighbour has planted trees (less than two metres in height) in front of their property blocking their light?
What is the effect of the qualifying tenants residing in two separate blocks on one freehold title on the qualifications for enfranchisement under Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993?
What kind of tenancy does a residential tenant have where there is no written tenancy agreement and what are the landlord’s powers to request an increase of rent where he verbally agreed not to increase it?
When arranging for a lease extension to be executed, whether using the statutory route or the voluntary route, who is responsible for seeking the management company's execution, the landlord or the tenant?
When completing a statutory lease extension upon a three party lease, would a Right to Manage Company (which has taken over management duties subsequent to the date of the lease) need to be a party to the new lease or should the new lease be drafted as per the original with the management company (which is active) as a party?
When serving a notice for a new lease under section 26 of the LTA 1954, is it possible to describe a property by reference to a plan appended to the notice? What would be the effect if the plan attached to the notice also included property not included in the lease demise?
When serving an option to purchase notice on the landlords (who are also trustees) and two of the landlords/trustees are now deceased, it would appear to be necessary to serve the option notice on the personal representatives. However, would it also be necessary to serve notice on them in their capacity as trustees?
Where a ‘new lease’ is not registered at the Land Registry and was subsequently assigned, and the reversion also transferred, what is the status of the lease between the current landlord and tenant and would the current landlord be able to pursue the tenant for unpaid rent?
Where a break option is conditional on the tenant reinstating alterations if requested to do so by the landlord prior to the break date, what is the position if the landlord requests reinstatement very late, leaving the tenant insufficient time to complete the works to comply with the break condition? What if another condition also requires the tenant to give up occupation?
Where a freeholder of a residential block (where flats are let on long leasehold) wishes to grant 999-year leases of the roof/roof space for the purpose of development of additional stories, must the freeholder serve notice pursuant to section 5 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, and if so, are there any exemptions which might apply, eg if the freeholder were to grant a lease of the roof for an airspace to an associated company?
Where a guarantor has paid the deposit under an assured shorthold tenancy and the landlord has failed to give the guarantor the prescribed information, would this invalidate a section 21 notice served by the landlord?
Where a house is divided into three flats on identical leases and the owners of the three flats also own the freehold, but the owner of one flat (Flat 2) has sublet, and the sublessee has further sublet in breach of their lease (but the owner of Flat 2 is denying these facts): (a) How can the other owners establish who is occupying Flat 2 (identity and number)? Can they insist on entry if the lease so provides? (b) Can steps be taken to evict tenants who are occupying in breach of the sublease? (c) Can the owner of Flat 2 circumvent attempts to evict occupiers by applying for a houses in multiple occupation licence to allow all suspected tenants to remain in occupation, regardless of the lease terms?
Where a landlord has been granted forfeiture, and the tenant is not in the property whilst they are applying for relief from forfeiture, are they still liable to pay rent? Would accepting rent have any adverse consequences for the landlord?
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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