Property

Property law forms a central part of the practice of several members of Chambers’ Civil team, who conduct seminars, contribute to legal publications, are members of the Property Bar Association and are ranked in the Legal 500 in this area.

Our Members are frequently instructed to advise and appear in contentious matters in the First Tier Tribunal and County Court as well as the High Court and the Court of Appeal as well as public enquiries. They also appear in both mediation and arbitration, and undertake non-contentious advice and advisory work.

Chambers’ clients include solicitors, local authorities, statutory bodies, property, planning and environmental professionals as well as individuals.

Charges & Mortgages

Members of Chambers have significant experience of possession claims, the interpretation of mortgage contracts, cases involving duress, undue influence, fraud, and misrepresentation, subrogation, equitable mortgages, and the enforcement of charging orders.

Recent notable instructions include:

  • Advising on the miscalculation of interest rates for sub-prime mortgages
  • Proceedings against the Land Registry under the indemnity scheme following a fraudulent sale
  • Three way proceedings alleging undue influence in the imposition of a charge or, in the alterative, professional negligence by solicitors instructed in the creation of the charge
  • First instance and appeal proceedings regarding a possession order against a vulnerable defendant following long-term non-payment of a mortgage

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Our team has significant expertise within commercial landlord and tenant matters, and are frequently instructed to advise and appear in relation to possession and/or forfeiture proceedings, assignments, surrenders, renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, leasehold covenants, dilapidations and disrepair claims, and the interpretation of leases.

Members also provide non-contentious advice and drafting services.

Recent instructions include:

  • An appeal against an improvement notice served by local authority under Part I of Housing Act 2004 seeking order that freeholder carry out works and contribute to costs pursuant to paragraph 16(3) of Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Act
  • Contested applications to renew commercial leases under the 1954 Act
  • Proceedings regarding relief from forfeiture and liability for disrepair and dilapidations
  • Advising a freeholder as to whether numerous tenancies were leases, licences or tenancies at will

Our team has significant expertise within commercial landlord and tenant matters are frequently instructed to advise and appear in possession, forfeiture and surrender proceedings, assignments, renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, leasehold covenants, dilapidations and disrepair claims, and the interpretation of leases.

Members also provide non-contentious advice and drafting services.

Residential Landlord & Tenant

Our team act for both landlords and tenants in residential matters including possession claims, deposits, service charge disputes, leasehold enfranchisement, leasehold covenants, disrepair, and the interpretation of leases.

Recent instructions include:

  • An application to vary the term of a long residential lease pursuant to section 35 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
  • Successfully resisting an appeal against a determination that service charges were lawfully due
  • Successfully defending a starter tenancy on the basis that the Local Authority had failed to correctly apply the test in Akerman-Livingstone v Aster Commnities [2014] EWCA Civ 1081
  • An application for a declaration that the tenants of residential premises entitled to acquire the right to manage pursuant to Chapter 1 of Part II of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002
  • Proceedings under the Rent Act 1977 resisting possession on the basis of disrepair and seeking an order for specific performance for repairs and a declaration that pursuant to section 12(1) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 the contractual repairing obligations in the lease were void. Defending possession proceedings on the basis of breaches of the Equality Act 2010. Advising on the correct form of notices and prescribed information to obtain possession under section 8 and section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 for assured shorthold tenancies. Challenging the right of a lessee controlled freeholder company to seek determination of breach of covenant pursuant to section 168 Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002. Application to determine the premium payable in respect of lease extensions

The housing team undertakes all aspects of housing work, including both straightforward and complex possession hearings, anti-social behaviour injunction applications, appeals against Local Authority reviews and unlawful eviction cases.

Members of the Housing Team are regularly instructed by Local Authorities and Housing Associations, as well as by private landlords and tenants to provide expert advice and representation in housing and homelessness cases.

Members of the housing team have specialist knowledge of Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 in respect of homelessness reviews and appeals. In particular, one of the members of the team regularly undertakes housing reviews as a contractor for a Local Authority and advises on the lawfulness of decisions reached by other Local Authorities. The team also undertake judicial reviews both for and against Local Authorities in respect of housing and homelessness matters.

In addition to the Local Authority and Housing Association work, the team also act for private landlords in possession actions and defending unlawful eviction claims brought by tenants. Further we regularly act for and advise tenants defending possession proceedings, injunction applications and defending actions for unlawful eviction.

Planning & Environmental

Chambers acts for local planning authorities, developers, consultants, private individuals and community groups providing assistance at all stages of the planning process. Members appear in and advise on judicial review proceedings, inquiries and appeals, planning conditions, s106 and CIL obligations and planning enforcement. The team also has significant experience in drafting and advising on section 106 Agreements for both large and small-scale developers and providers of affordable housing.

The team is also able to advise and provide representation in relation to listed buildings, heritage, and conservation areas, advertisements, wind farms, tress orders, compulsory purchase, and commercial and retail development under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as well as other associated property issues.

Members of the team accept instructions through the Licences Access Scheme and deliver seminars to solicitors and other professionals on recent developments and issues in law and practice. Please contact our clersk for further information and assistance.

Recent cases undertaken include:

  • Successful defence of a Local Plan against unplanned residential development following a two week public inquiry upon appeal
  • Successful defence of the decision to grant permission for residential development contrary to the Local Plan where there was significant shortfall in housing land supply
  • Modification of the Definitive Map following public inquiry
  • Upholding Local Plan policies to restrict residential development in highly protected landscapes and National Parks at public inquiry
  • Injunctions for enforcement of planning control under s187B of the TCPA 1990
  • Recovery of costs following direct action to secure compliance with enforcement action

In the field of environmental law, Chambers provides representation in both civil and criminal courts and advises on matters relating to the water sewage industry, including prosecutions under the Water Resources Act 1991, the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016; appeals under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Lands Tribunal claims for compensation, The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, The Environmental Information Regulations 2004, civil claims in nuisance and under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher for environmental damage to land, claims arising out of flooding and land movement, disputes as to riparian rights, and contamination.

Recent instructions include:

  • Successfully an appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office for the disclosure of infrastructure locations under the Environment Information Regulations 2004
  • Acting for national infrastructure bodies resisting environmental prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency following alleged pollution offences
  • Acting in private prosecutions against individuals and corporate bodies who commit environmental offences
  • Advising national infrastructure bodies on the ability to undertake emergency works and issues concerning the Protection of Badgers Act 1992
  • Advising national infrastructure bodies as to the right to exercise survey powers and rights of access for the purpose of conisering compulsory purchase of land
  • Advising national infrastructure bodies as to liability for a contaminated site.
  • Acting for Local Authorities in environmental prosecutions

Real Property

The team enjoys strength and depth across the spectrum of real property disputes. Members’ expertise include easements and restrictive covenants, land registration, rectification, proprietary estoppel, trusts of land and co-habitation, constructive and resulting trusts, adverse possession, trespass, nuisance, access to neighbouring land, party walls, boundary disputes, options and pre-emptions, overage, highways, village greens, stamp duty land tax, the ownership and disposition of land by charities and unincorporated associations and injunctions.

Recent notable instructions include:

  • Proceedings in the Court of Appeal concerning the question of the enforceability of boundary agreements pursuant to section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
  • Proceedings in the Court of Appeal regarding adverse possession in the context of incompletely enclosed land, rights of way and the award of damages in lieu of an injunction
  • High Court litigation successfully resisting a claim for a declaration of a constructive trust/proprietary estoppel over a multi-million pound property
  • High Court litigation obtaining an injunction against a property developer to enforce restrictive covenants for the protection of the Claimant’s land
  • County Court litigation establishing a right of way to commercial sewage works based on historic deeds/usage
  • County Court litigation establishing an interest by way of constructive trust in favour of a son over a property owned and occupied by his mother
  • An application for rectification of the registered title to remove a reference to an option agreement on the basis that it did not extend to the land
  • A successful application to enter a restriction on the register following unconscionable conduct of former partner
  • Advising on the ownership of the river bed and river bank for mooring and preservation purposes