The Dispute Resolution team at Allan Janes have a particular specialism in property disputes and are members of the Property Litigation Association. We act for landlords and tenants of commercial properties, and also advise developers, beneficial owners and investors.
Property disputes are common and can be highly disruptive, demanding pragmatic and effective advice. The Dispute Resolution team at Allan Janes keep our clients’ objectives at the heart of their negotiations, give the best information on costs and budgeting. They aim to resolve issues through negotiation and mediation. If, however, a matter leads to litigation, they ensure that all matters are dealt with tenaciously and efficiently.
We take pride in the network of professionals with whom we have close relationship, including barristers, surveyors, engineers, agents and experts across many sectors.
We regularly advise on the following matters:
right to light claims, and rights of access/way.
advising on professional negligence actions: for example, in relation to advice given by solicitors, architects or surveyors
preparation and service of notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, notices to quit
forfeiture, commercial rent recovery and possession
Every piece of land has a legal boundary; an invisible line that divides one property from another. Almost all properties will also usually have a physical boundary which may be marked by an object such as a fence or hedge. Where the physical boundary does not match the legal boundary, disputes regarding the location of the legal boundary, or disputes with neighbours regarding the ownership of land, often arise.
Land Registry records are often not sufficiently accurate to alone prove the legal boundary to a property.
At Allan Janes, our Dispute Resolution team have extensive experience dealing with boundary disputes. Boundary disputes (usually being disputes between neighbours) are typically capable of being resolved without court action. Our team can assist in bringing parties to an amicable agreement. However, where agreement is not possible, we are able to assist in court action, having significant experience in the County Courts and High Court.
If you have an interest in property (under a lease or as freehold owner) the actions of others neighbouring you which cause an interference to your enjoyment of your property can amount to a nuisance. If so, you may be able to approach the Courts for compensation (damages) and, in certain cases, an injunction ordering that the nuisance is stopped.
At Allan Janes our Dispute Resolution team have experience dealing with disputes relating to nuisance, trespass and property damage.
Rights of Way
Rights of way can be acquired in a number of ways, sometimes in express grants, written down in deeds or conveyance documents.
However, there are other ways in which rights can be acquired:
Common Law – if the land has historically enjoyed a right of access across the land in question such that a Court or Tribunal would uphold it and formally recognise it.
Doctrine of lost modern grant – Under the doctrine of lost modern grant, if an easement has been enjoyed for at least 20 years without any other lawful explanation, it is presumed: a) to have had its origin in a deed of grant made after 1189 and b) That the deed of grant has been lost (Angus v Dalton (1881) 6 App Cas 740). A claim of lost modern grant based on 20 years of use is not rebutted even when the use is interrupted after the required 20 years.
Prescription Act 1832 - Alternatively to the above, if one can evidence (usually by way of Statutory Declarations) a 20-year period up to issue of proceedings, a prescriptive right may arise under the Prescription Act 1832.
Once obtained, it is very rare for such a right to be abandoned, even after years of non-use and usually a clear unequivocal act is required to establish abandonment.
At Allan Janes we can help land owners assert (or oppose) rights of way. We can also act to enforce those rights, for example by seeking an injunction to prevent substantial interference with a right of way.