With the introduction of more readily available and accessible forms of mediation and a general shift in attitude towards settling commercial disputes, it is becoming ever more important that you have on board Solicitors equipped to deal with this change and to understand the effects it has on you and your business.

Our Litigation Department prides itself on its level of adaptability, and strives to understand the real needs of its clients and to advise on the most cost effective way of resolving disputes, whether this involves an early settlement or going to Court. We advise on all manner of commercial and private disputes including:

  • Breach of Contract
  • Professional Negligence
  • Neighbour Disputes
  • Company Commercial and Partnership Disputes
  • Debt Collections
  • Nuisance
  • Party wall matters
  • Boundary Disputes

ODT Solicitors has a number of experienced advocates and also enjoys a very close relationship with our local Barristers’ Chambers and we feel that our clients benefit from this greatly. The personal understanding between the client and the advocate is always a crucial one should your case go to Court.

If you would like to find out more information about our Litigation Department generally then please feel free to contact Paul Barnes at pbarnes@odt.uk.com  or Simon Janaway at sjanaway@odt.uk.com or by telephoning our offices on 01273 710712.

IMPORTANT NEWS – BAN ON EVICTIONS RE CORONAVIRUS – READ MORE  BELOW

The Government has announced that it will be taking radical measures to suspend evictions from private and social rental accommodation during the Coronavirus outbreak.

How long will this last?

A draft of the proposed legislation has not yet been released, but the Government has said that landlords will not be able to issue possession proceedings for a minimum period of 3 months. Given that the purpose of the legislation is to protect tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic, it is not yet known just how long this ban may be in force.

What does it mean?

We do not yet know the precise details, but it is expected that the legislation will only cover tenancies (mostly ‘assured shorthold’ tenancies) and not long leases.

The ban is for new possession claims issued at court. Whilst this legislation should not affect existing claims that have already been issued at court, landlords should be prepared for the possibility that the court will adjourn hearings on existing claims, as well as postponing evictions by the court bailiff, as the courts follow government guidance on ‘social distancing’.

It is not yet known whether the ban will extend to all types of tenancy possession claims, or just claims for possession based on rent arrears.

What should landlords do next?

The ban applies to the issuing of possession claims at court. There is no reason why landlords cannot, in the meantime, continue to serve notices requiring possession on tenants, including notices based on rent arrears under Section 8 Housing Act 1988 and the ‘no fault’ notices under Section 21 Housing Act 1988. Subject to what exactly the legislation may provide, when the ban is eventually lifted, landlords will then be ready to issue the court proceedings straight away.

However, it should be remembered that a Section 21 notice only has a lifespan of 6 months and cannot be served before 4 months of the tenancy has elapsed.

These are emergency measures and it is unclear at this stage precisely how these will impact landlords and tenants. We intend to provide further update.

Contact details: http://www.odt.co.uk/people/simon-janaway/