Property Disputes

Property Disputes

Property disputes can be extremely unpleasant and stressful. At Thornton Jones, we understand how difficult it is to be involved in a disagreement relating to your home and we will do all we can to resolve the issue on your behalf as quickly as possible.

Our property team are highly experienced in dealing with all types of property disputes and have a strong track record of success in resolving issues without recourse to property litigation and court.

If you ask us to represent you, we will put together a strong case on your behalf and do all we can to press the other party for a resolution that you are happy with. We are often able to obtain this by sending a well-drafted letter before action or by representing you in an alternative dispute resolution process such as constructive negotiation or mediation.

If your issue cannot be settled amicably, you can be sure that we will provide robust representation in court.

Talk to us about property dispute resolution today

For expert advice on resolving a disagreement, please speak to our property disputes lawyers in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

Our expertise with property dispute resolution

We can assist with a full range of property issues, including the following:

  • Boundary disputes
  • Right to light disputes
  • Right of way and easement disputes
  • Antisocial behaviour disputes
  • Party wall disputes
  • Breach of restrictive covenants
  • Prescriptive rights
  • Adverse possession

Boundary disputes

Boundary disputes are one of the most common issues that arise between neighbours. Difficulties can arise because the plans included with the title deeds to a property are only general in scale and do not assist with identifying the exact location of the boundary on the ground.

A chartered surveyor will be able to draw up an accurate plan and if you are able to come to an agreement with your neighbour as to the position of the boundary, it is recommended that you put this in writing together with an accurate electronic plan. If agreement cannot be reached, then it is advisable to try to negotiate a compromise to avoid stressful and time-consuming legal action.

Right to light disputes

If you have enjoyed uninterrupted light through an opening for over twenty years, then you are deemed to have a right to light. This can also exist where it has been granted, meaning even a new building can have a right to light.

Objects such as new construction or trees or hedges can potentially obscure light and cause disputes between neighbours.

In determining a right to light case, the courts will look at the amount of light your home receives and whether it is sufficient for comfortable enjoyment of the property. The light level is generally assessed by a chartered surveyor.

We can represent you if you believe your right to light has been breached or if you have received notice that you are obstructing someone else’s light. We will work to resolve the issue without the need for litigation wherever possible.

Right of way or easement disputes

A dispute can arise when someone assumes that they have a right of way over another’s land, quite often when this assumed right has been exercised for some time. A right of way is a type of easement, where one person grants another the right to do something in relation to land they own.

An easement may be set out within the title deeds to a property or it could arise because the so-called right has been exercised for more than twenty years.

As ever, it is best to try to resolve any difficulty or allegation of trespass without legal proceedings. We can advise you on the best course of action to enforce your rights or protect your property.

Antisocial behaviour disputes

Antisocial behaviour can be one of the most upsetting and stressful forms of neighbour dispute. Excessive noise is one of the main causes of this type of dispute, but it could also include rubbish being left lying around, overgrowing trees and hedges, parking in the wrong place, harassment and nuisance.

It is advisable to deal with the situation without delay before the behaviour becomes a habit and also before relationships degenerate. We can step in early on your behalf to explain to your neighbour why they cannot continue to behave in this way and hopefully resolve the issue before the situation escalates.

Party wall disputes

A party wall is a wall that sits along the boundary of two properties. It may be on the land of one person and it could also be a horizontal boundary, such as the floor/ceiling of a flat.

Where work is going to be done to a party wall, notice should be served on the neighbour advising them of this. If the neighbour objects and a dispute arises, a surveyor can be appointed to look at ways of resolving matters.

If you are involved in a party wall dispute, we can advise you of your options and work on your behalf to try to negotiate a compromise with your neighbour.

Our dispute resolution fees

Fixed fee dispute resolution

For some types of dispute resolution work, we can offer fixed fees. This will normally cover a specific piece of work, such as drafting and sending a letter before action or providing an individual session of mediation.

Learn more about our fees and funding.

Hourly rates for our dispute resolution solicitors

Where fixed fees are not applicable, we charge an hourly rate.

We bill in regular instalments and can, subject to your circumstances, agree a monthly payment plan in which interest is charged at 8% per annum on outstanding balances.

All fees are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

We may request a payment-on-account of £100 plus VAT when you make an appointment to see one of our solicitors. This payment covers the cost of the initial appointment and the associated work should you choose not to go ahead. If you chose to proceed then your payment-on-account will be deducted from your final bill.

Learn more about our fees and funding.

Conditional fee agreements

For some types of disputes, we may be able to offer conditional fee agreements covering all or part of our fees. This means that part of all of our fees would only be applied if and when we secure a favourable outcome for you.

Learn more about our fees and funding.

Contact our property disputes solicitors in West Yorkshire

For expert advice on resolving a dispute, please speak to our dispute resolution solicitors in Wakefield, Ossett, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet or Mapplewell, West Yorkshire today.

Have a quick question or want to request a call back? Use our online enquiry form.

Frequently asked questions about housing disrepair claims

What qualifies for housing disrepair?

When a landlord is aware of a maintenance issue at a rented property, and they fail to repair this issue, this is an example of housing disrepair. A tenant would be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim for any of the following issues, though this is not an exhaustive list:
Mould and damp issues
Broken central heating
Water or gas leaks
Vermin infestations
Broken drainage systems
If you are unsure as to whether you have a case for housing disrepair, please contact our housing disrepair solicitors for advice.

How do housing disrepair claims work?

If you are having an issue with housing disrepair, you are first advised to raise the issue with your landlord.

Where the landlord fails to complete the necessary repairs within a reasonable time frame, you may wish to contact your local housing authority, or department of health for support.

In these situations, you are likely eligible to raise a housing disrepair claim. To do so, you will need to contact a specialist solicitor, who can build and raise the claim on your behalf.

Your solicitor will first attempt to resolve the claim using negotiation or mediation. If it is not possible to resolve your issue out of Court, your solicitor will pursue your claim in Court.

How much compensation would I receive from a housing disrepair claim?

It is hard to gauge exactly how much compensation you could receive from a housing disrepair claim, the amount of compensation will depend on the circumstances and the type of claim.
At Thornton Jones, we will ensure to build the strongest case possible, working diligently to secure the highest level of compensation.
For more information about our housing disrepair claims service, please get in touch with our experts at Thornton Jones.

How long does a housing disrepair claim take?

A typical housing disrepair claim takes somewhere between 3 and 6 months, though, this is only an approximation, and a claim may take longer depending on the extent of disrepair to the property.
When you work with us at Thornton Jones, we will attempt to settle your housing disrepair claim as quickly as possible.

Covid-19 Frequently asked questions

Can I move house during the restrictions?

This depends upon a number of circumstances. The government guidance is that where possible house moves should be delayed until the restrictions are lifted. However there are circumstances when moves can continue, for example if the move is essential for a key worker or if the property is empty and therefore the risks of contamination are minimal. Please contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

I am in a chain. Can we still complete?

This depends on the situation of the full chain. Some solicitors are simply refusing to complete any transactions during this period and therefore if one of these solicitors forms part of your chain then the chain will either collapse or more likely simply be put on hold until the restrictions are lifted.

My mortgage offer is due to expire. Can it be extended?

The government has asked lenders to agree to extend mortgage offers for another 3 months. You should contact your individual lender to establish whether this can be agreed in your case.

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