Landlords operate like any other type of business owner where the aim is to make their businesses profitable while steering clear of liability. Over the last 20 years statute has intervened to place increasing responsibilities upon landlords pertaining to tenancy agreements, deposits, health & safety, licensing requirements, vetting tenants, health hazards & improvement notices, eviction processes and conduct in relation to specified offences. LegalRoad is the smart choice to help you navigate your way through these laws and mitigate any potential claims against you.

Landlord & Tenant Arbitration

Arbitration differs from mediation which although a consensual and confidential process it does not attach a binding resolution and therefore may not result in a definitive and acceptable outcome to the parties.

Litigation is an uncertain drawn-out draining and costly process. Irrespective of how robust a case may appear, the desired final outcome at court cannot be guaranteed. On the other hand, arbitration is a consensual and private process to resolving disputes which can bring about a binding resolution for all parties outside of the court system. It fundamentally differs from litigation as all parties are willing participants and not at the mercy of the court.

Arbitration can bring about ownership of the process by the parties and provide autonomy and flexibility to the final outcome along with confidentiality and privacy, at quicker turnaround time and lower costs. Most disputes can be arbitrated including for breach of contract, claims for disrepairs & damages and human rights issues. However, disputes arising from ASTs pertaining to breach of the tenancy deposit scheme and rent repayment orders are governed by statute whilst matters pertaining to domestic arbitration of landlord and tenant disputes may also be subject to restrictions under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (previously the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999). Where terms considered unfair, not individually negotiated and significantly disadvantageous are automatically rendered void. This is also likely to apply to an arbitration clause within an AST agreement. While it still may be possible for parties to agree to utilise arbitration after a dispute has arisen, a standard arbitration clause in an AST is likely to breach the 2015 Act. If a lease contains an arbitration agreement expressed in mandatory terms, then subject to the 2015 Act, the parties are required to arbitrate. If a party then proceeds to litigate in breach of the arbitration clause, then this can be a breach of contract and court proceedings could be stayed.

It is also worth noting that arbitration agreements pertaining to claims valued at less than £5,000 are inevitably deemed unfair under the 2015 Act. However, this is unlikely to prohibit any landlord claims for rent arrears or for substantial disrepair.

Landlord & Tenant Litigation

We have assisted numerous landlords for all matters pertaining to litigation including issues including the recovery of possession, tenancy deposit claims, rent repayment orders, breach of contract, arrears, disrepairs and damages claims.

LegalRoad has a robust team of litigation consultant solicitors and barristers specialising in housing law. Civil litigation is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 where the court determines how each case should progress by making appropriate directions, setting strict timetables and ensuring the parties comply with them, backed up by a system of sanctions which the court could impose itself without the need for an application by any party. 

Rental Arrears

Rental arrears pose a very real threat to landlords being able to meet their mortgage commitments on the property and in turn retain ownership of the premises.

It is worth considering the larger the amount of overdue rent, the less likely it is to be paid. Similarly, if the landlord turns a blind eye to overdue rent then the tenant is most likely to do the same. Whilst pursuing overdue rent through via the courts can be done relatively quickly and easily it is worth considering whether there is any point to suing a tenant who does not have the financial resources to pay.

Before taking this step the landlord should be in contact with the tenant to place him on notice of all rental arrears and to agree a swift payment plan to settle the outstanding funds. A fair and reasonable approach is to start with a friendly reminder letter. If this does not bring about a solution then the landlord’s communications should progressively emphasise the serious consequences to the tenant if he should continue to be in arrears. If the landlords attempts to resolve this matter continues to go unanswered then prior to commencing litigation, it may be effective and cost saving for LegalRoad to prepare an official lawyers letter to put the tenant on final notice to settle all arrears of face court action for eviction and to recover the full debt plus legal costs and interest without any further notice.

Our team of specialist housing lawyers have drafted such bespoke letters for numerous landlords which have produced the quick and desired outcomes without any court action.

Contractual Agreements for Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Assured and assured shorthold tenancies have become the largest category of private residential lettings in England & Wales.

Nearly all new residential tenancies outside the public sector, granted after the 15th January 1989 when the Housing Act 1988 came into force are subject to the provisions of this Act and will be assumed an assured tenancy or an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) if they satisfy the qualifying conditions.

To assist landlords, our specialist housing lawyers have developed the bespoke and very affordable LegalRoad Gold Standard AST 2021 pack. This pack contains a comprehensive AST agreement suitable to all types of residential tenants. For £9.99, this agreement covers just about every AST contractual eventuality with a corresponding legal guidance document and a landlord checklist.