Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Occasionally, both landlords and their tenants may need to seek legal advice on their rights and obligations or resolve any disputes that have arisen. Disputes between landlords and tenants can occur for a variety of reasons whether this be over payment or damages to the property.


Common Causes of Landlord-Tenant Disputes

While disputes between landlords and tenants can be caused by any number of reasons, there are some common causes such as rent arrears, property damage, eviction issues, deposit disputes, as well as maintenance and repairs to the property.

Rent Arrears

Rent arrears is common dispute among landlords and tenants caused by failure to pay rent on time or at all. During these kinds of disputes it is important to understand your rights as either a landlord or a tenant to try and ensure the desired outcome is reached.

Property Damage

Damage to property is another common cause of landlord-tenant disputes. The root of these disputes is often the cause of the damage, whether it be the natural wear and tear or whether it is actions of the tenant that resulted in damage to the property.

Eviction Issues

In some cases, the circumstances or method of eviction can create a dispute between a landlord and their tenant. It is important for either party to understand their rights and obligations as well as the legal process that should be taken when evicting a tenant from a property.

Deposit Disputes

Another common dispute is over the return of a tenant's deposit. If you believe your landlord is withholding your deposit without cause or if you believe you have a case to withhold a tenant’s deposit then please contact our team!

Maintenance & Repairs

It is a legal obligation of landlords to ensure that the property is maintained to a certain standard. If a tenant believes that this obligation has not been to be met, it could cause a dispute.


Legal Rights & Responsibilities

As a landlord and as a tenant you have rights and responsibilities under the law. It is essential that you understand these in order to avoid disputes or legal troubles.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords have specific responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the property and when it comes to not infringing on the rights of their tenants. In most cases you will have to check the tenant’s right to rent, register their deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme, and provide a copy of the How to Rent Guide.

Other responsibilities that are required of landlords include:

  • Maintaining the property to ensure that there are no health hazards.
  • Ensuring the tenant can live in the property undisturbed.
  • Keeping a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate.
  • Ensure that the tenant is protected against unfair eviction and excessive charges.
  • Giving their deposit back in full at the end of the tenancy (provided it isn’t under dispute).

Tenant Responsibilities

As a tenant, it is expected that you occupy the property in a “tenant-like” manner. This means that you should undertake any maintenance that is reasonable or that a normal householder would do. This could include things such as:

  • Keeping the house in a reasonable state.
  • Keeping the garden and other outside areas clean and in a reasonable state.
  • Minor maintenance of the house such as changing lightbulbs, smoke alarm batteries, etc.

Additionally, as a tenant you must report any issues with the property to the landlord as well as provide access to the property at reasonable times so that the landlord can complete inspections or carry out repairs.


How to Prevent Landlord-Tenant Disputes

It’s not rare for disputes to occur between landlords and their tenants. However, there are actions that can be taken to try and prevent disputes.

Effective Communication

Maintaining effective communication with your landlord or tenant is an excellent first step to preventing disputes. This is because with open communication any issues can be identified and resolved sooner.

Proper Documentation

Proper documentation on the side of both parties is an extremely effective way of preventing disputes. Keep records of all transactions, communications, and any issues that arise as this will be important information to have if a dispute does arise.

Mediation Services

If a dispute cannot be resolved, mediation services are a good first step to take with a third party to help avoid escalating the dispute to the courts and escaping the court fees.


Legal Options for Resolving Disputes

There are various legal avenues that can be taken to resolve landlord and tenant disputes.

Negotiation & Mediation

Mediation can be an excellent tool to help negotiate a resolution to a dispute. Mediation is a structured, interactive process where a neutral third party assists both parties in coming to a conclusion of their dispute.

Court Proceedings

While some disputes may be escalated to the courts, it is recommended that other avenues are taken before this step. This is because the cost of escalating a dispute to a court is compounded by expensive court and solicitor fees.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

There are also other alternative methods of dispute resolution, for example and ombudsman service. An ombudsman service is an independent body that reviews complaints and disputes and determines the outcome.


How Lovedays Solicitors Can Help

Here at Lovedays Solicitors we can help guide you through resolving your dispute. Our solicitors can help you to understand your legal rights and responsibilities and negotiate settlements. On top of this, our team can also represent you in court and undertake mediation services to help resolve the dispute outside of the courts.

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Get Support Today

Our team of expert property lawyers can help guide you through the legal process of resolving your dispute with your landlord or your tenant if you’re the property owner.

Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help resolve your landlord-tenant dispute.

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About Lovedays

Lovedays Solicitors, Potter and Co Solicitors and Andrew Macbeth Cash and Co Solicitors are the trading names of Derbyshire Legal Services Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08838592. Registered office Sherwood House, 1 Snitterton Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3LZ.

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA ID number 637916.

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