When there is a dispute over property – commercial or residential – a client needs to know that their legal advisor will first aim to resolve it and mitigate any risks – and only when this route has been exhausted should they turn to litigation.
With a team of sixteen, we advise in relation to commercial, residential and mixed use schemes and development disputes. We deal with all landlord and tenant issues including rent arrears, forfeiture, lease renewals, dilapidations claims, and service charge disputes. We also have experience in rent review, insolvency, real estate disputes and property related professional negligence claims.
On the commercial side our clients range from developers to institutional investors and funds - including Aberdeen Standard Investments, F&C REIT Asset Management, Rockspring Property Investment Managers - major office and retail tenants, private estates, charities, and high net worth individuals. Acting for both sides ensures that we are alive to the concerns and priorities of each so that the advice provided is well rounded.
On the residential side our team has significant experience in the Central London marketplace, advising landlords of large mixed use estates (The Crown Estate, The Phillimore Estate and The Corporation of Trinity House) and also residential investors and tenants of high value blocks in London and the suburbs. Our clients include both landlords and tenants covering all aspects of residential estate management, boundary and party wall disputes and also on enfranchisement and right to manage claims.
Property Litigation Partner, Ben Barrison, and head of Forsters' corporate occupier practice, Glenn Dunn, have co-authored an article for EG entitled, ‘Office space: how to downsize for the new normal’.
Podcast host, Knowledge Development Lawyer Miri Stickland, is joined by a trio of partners, Magnus Hassett from Commercial Real Estate, Ben Barrison from Property Litigation and Emily Holdstock from our Construction team, to discuss some of the issues we have seen affecting the real estate market as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite stimulus packages from the Government, it unfortunately seems inevitable that a large number of businesses will enter liquidation in the short and medium term as the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is felt in nearly every sector.
Note for landlords of commercial properties- particular points re rent recovery from tenants in current market conditions
Many tenants (particular those in the retail and hospitality sectors- but also a considerable number of office and industrial tenants) are not paying their rent in full or, in many cases, at all. Some of these tenants are major companies (such as JD Sports and WH Smith) who one would think could afford to pay. According to press reports, only 48% of commercial rents had been paid for the March 2020 quarter by the start of April.
The restrictions on movement imposed by the Government, in its attempt to control the spread of coronavirus, have exacerbated the already difficult trading conditions in which many retailers find themselves. Recent days have seen the sad news that both Debenhams and Cath Kidston have filed notice to appoint administrators. It can be expected that others will follow.