For Individuals

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant of a residential or a commercial property, contact the department at Clifton Ingram today and our experienced, specialist landlord and tenant solicitors will be able to help you with asserting your rights and complying with your obligations.

Of course, in the interests of maintaining a good working relationship, you should always seek to resolve any disputes between you without recourse to the Court through amicable, informal channels of communication. You must still always carefully document what has been said. However, as in all professional relationships, disputes can arise and when they do, the landlord and tenant dispute solicitors at Clifton Ingram can help you resolve them swiftly, with your best interests in mind.

Even before disputes arise, our expert tenancy solicitors can review your tenancy agreement or commercial lease and offer you a broad overview of your rights and obligations and the steps you will need to take to satisfy them. For instance, in respect of a commercial lease when a tenant moves out of the building, they may have to pay for certain repairs, or carry out work to put the building back into the state it was before they moved in. These repairs are called dilapidations. Dilapidations are subject to further legislation which we can assist you with.

For immediate advice on how to resolve tenant disputes, please contact our team or you can read our FAQs to learn more about landlord and tenant disputes.

Why trust Clifton Ingram for tenant and landlord dispute resolution?

  • One of the leading law firms in the Thames Valley and M3 Corridor
  • The firm has strong rankings in respected client guide The Legal 500, recognising us as some of the best solicitors in the region
  • Decades of experience in guiding commercial landlords and tenants through all manner of disputes
  • A sensible, practical approach to disputes with landlords and tenants that prioritises fast, cost-effective resolutions that protect your immediate and long-term interests
  • Strong skills in negotiation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods
  • The experience and firm resolve to support you through court proceedings when this is the best or only option
  • A service tailored to your needs

Our landlord and tenant dispute resolution service includes:

  • Commercial lease renewals
  • Breach of lease covenants
  • Rent arrears
  • Service charge disputes
  • Disputes with landlords over deposits
  • Dilapidations and disrepair
  • Break clauses and lease surrender
  • Alterations and change of use
  • Forfeiture
  • Tenant insolvency
  • Recovering possession of residential properties
  • Advising as to all types of residential and commercial tenancy agreements

Contact our landlord and tenant solicitors in Farnham, Reading and Wokingham

Our solicitors at Clifton Ingram can advise you on all aspects of tenant and landlord law with respect to private and commercial property. We are a proactive and down-to-earth team of highly experienced solicitors bringing a high quality and professional service to your local area.

We regularly provide tenancy legal advice to clients in FarnhamReading and Wokingham in Berkshire, as well as across the Thames Valley and M3 corridor. Our team covers areas including Finchampstead, Ascot, Sunningdale, Virginia Water, Henley, Bracknell, Crowthorne, Maidenhead, Theale, Farnborough and Wentworth Estate.

Speak to one of our landlord and tenant solicitors today by calling 0118 978 0099 or using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we will respond quickly.

Learn more about landlord and tenant disputes

What rights does a residential tenant have?

Many tenants are unaware of the rights that they have when renting a property, these rights include: the property that is being rented being safe and in good repair, that their deposit (if one is required) is returned at the end of the tenancy (subject to the tenant having met the terms agreed within their contract), that the deposit is stored in a protected deposit scheme (if the tenancy began after 2007) and the right to challenge any charges made against their deposit.

Tenants also have the right to know the identity of their landlord, the right to live in the property undisturbed with 24 hours' notice of the landlord visiting and the right to protection against unfair rent prices and unreasonable evictions.

Finally, as of the 1st June 2019, the Tenancy Fees Act provides protection against paying certain fees when tenancies are set up.

What rights does a commercial tenant have?

Qualifying commercial tenants have automatic legal rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. These rights include security of tenure, which means the tenant has the right to be granted a new lease once their current lease expires.

The Landlord and Tenant Act will apply if the tenant has a lease (as opposed to a ‘licence to occupy’), they occupy the premises themselves and main purpose of the tenancy is commercial.

Tenants may have additional rights as set out in their lease agreement, so it is important that both landlords and tenants fully understand the terms of their lease and how it applies to specific situations. It is always recommended, therefore, to have a specialist commercial property solicitor prepare the lease and for the tenant to have the agreement reviewed by independent solicitors for tenants’ rights before signing.

What responsibilities does a commercial tenant have?

Commercial tenants shoulder a lot more of the burden in renting a property than do private residential tenants. While the lease is the most important document, there are a number of responsibilities that a tenant has in renting a commercial property:

  • Repair and maintenance
  • Fire safety
  • Electrical equipment safety
  • Gas safety
  • Asbestos management
  • Provision of a reasonable temperature
  • Provision of adequate space, ventilation and lighting
  • Provision of toilets and washing facilities
  • Provision of drinking water
  • Safe equipment

Your landlord, on the other hand, may have responsibility for any aspects of health and safety written into the lease – most obviously, with respect to the communal areas and structural parts of a shared building.

If you are unclear about your rights under a commercial lease, it is sensible to speak to specialist tenancy agreement solicitors as soon as possible.

Can a landlord oppose a commercial lease renewal?

A landlord can only oppose the renewal of a commercial lease if they have specific grounds for doing so that are covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Where a tenant wishes to renew the lease on a commercial property, they will need to serve a Section 26 Notice on the landlord indicating the proposed terms of the new tenancy. If the landlord wishes to oppose this renewal, they must serve a Counter-Notice within 2 months of receiving the tenant’s Section 26 Notice.

The landlord’s Counter-Notice must state the grounds on which they are opposing the new tenancy, which must be one of the acceptable grounds covered by Section 30 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

The grounds for opposing a commercial lease renewal are:

  • The tenant has failed to keep the premises in a state of repair that complies with the terms of their existing lease
  • The tenant has persistently been late in paying rent
  • There have been other substantial breaches of the lease agreement by the tenant
  • The landlord is able to offer suitable, reasonable alternative premises for the tenant
  • The lease is for a part of the building and the landlord for the whole property could obtain a higher rent by leasing the whole property
  • The landlord needs to take possession of the property in order to demolish or reconstruct it
  • The landlord intends to take occupation of the premises for their own commercial or personal residential purposes

Opposing a commercial lease renewal can be risky for a landlord as the tenant could take the matter to court. Even if the landlord prevails in court proceedings, this can take up a lot of time and incur significant legal costs. If a new lease is not granted, the tenant could also be entitled to statutory compensation, the amounts which depend on how long the tenant has been in the property and the rateable value of the property. Before opposing a new tenancy, landlords should always seek expert legal advice to understand whether they have valid grounds for doing so and the potential costs and risks involved.

If you are a landlord who wishes to oppose a lease renewal or a tenant whose lease renewal has been opposed by your landlord, the tenant and landlord disputes team at Clifton Ingram will be happy to advise you.

What can a commercial landlord do about rent arrears?

If a tenant is behind on their rent, this can be extremely frustrating and potentially cause financial difficulties for their landlord.

In the first instance, it is always sensible to contact the tenant and discuss the reason for the arrears. This can help to guide you towards the approach which is most likely to result in a favourable outcome for you. You should also speak to an experienced commercial property lawyer to make sure you are protecting your interests while remaining legally compliant.

As a landlord, you have various options to deal with rent arrears, including:

  • Negotiating payment of the arrears in instalments with the tenant – This can be a good option if you wish to continue the tenancy and believe there is a realistic prospect of the tenant making payment.
  • Forfeiture – This may be the only option if you believe the tenant is unlikely to be able to repay the arrears and future rent. However, there are strict rules surrounding taking possession of a property during a tenancy, so it is essential that you seek to end the tenancy in the right way or you could be at risk of legal action. This option is only available if there is no residential element to the lease. Our expert solicitors can advise you further.
  • Issuing a statutory demand – This is a formal demand for payment of the outstanding rent, as a prelude to insolvency proceedings.
  • Using the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery scheme (CRAR) – This can allow you to seize and sell the tenant’s goods, but this is again subject to strict conditions.
  • Taking action against a guarantor – If there was a guarantor for the lease, you may be able to seek payment of the arrears from them.

The commercial landlord solicitors at Clifton Ingram will be happy to advise on rent arrears recovery.

Our landlord and tenant dispute resolution fees

We will make sure you have an accurate costs estimate for our help with landlord and tenant disputes from the outset. Should any unforeseen circumstances arise, we will review our charges and keep you advised of any changes.

To find out how much dealing with your landlord and tenant dispute might cost, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

Contact our landlord and tenant solicitors in Wokingham, Reading and Farnham

Our experienced landlord and tenant solicitors work from offices in Farnham, Reading and Wokingham for clients from all over Berkshire, as well as Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and further afield.

Speak to one of our landlord and tenant solicitors today by calling 0118 978 0099 or using the contact form at the bottom of the page and we will respond quickly.

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