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Landlord and tenant update: Prevention from illegal eviction

Posted: 6th January 2022

As discussed in earlier articles, a landlord must follow strict procedure to regain possession of their property from a tenant. The procedures followed will depend upon the type and term of the tenancy that the tenant has for the property.

A landlord must serve a valid notice on a tenant If the tenant fails to vacate the property after the notice period expires, a landlord can only legally evict them with a court order.

A landlord can not use force to evict a tenant. Landlord can not change the locks to the property without a court order. To do so, could result in the landlord being found guilty of illegally evicting their tenant. Illegal eviction is a criminal offence.

Most tenants are protected under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 which protects tenants against harassment and illegal eviction by landlords.

The Police and Local authorities have enforcement powers to tackle illegal evictions and can investigate offences of harassment and illegal eviction under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. 

This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon in place of specific legal advice.  If you have a landlord and tenant-related query, please do not hesitate to contact our litigation team for advice and assistance.

Opportunity for Legal Secretary

Posted: 23rd December 2021

We are currently seeking an experienced Private Client/Conveyancing Legal Secretary to join our team. 

Duration:                     Permanent 

Salary:                         To be agreed depending on experience

Working hours:          30 hours plus per week

Place of Work:            Hartlepool, however, the applicant must be able to provide cover at the firm’s other offices at Peterlee, Wingate and Durham if required

Closing Date:              14 January 2022

Job description

An experienced private client/conveyancing legal secretary is required to join a highly regarded and established firm of solicitors.  The successful applicant will be based in Hartlepool but would be expected to travel between the firm’s other offices if required.  Previous private client and/or conveyancing experience is essential.  Duties will include typing, taking telephone calls, filing and providing support and assistance to fee earners within the private client and property departments.

Person requirements

  • Previous private client/conveyancing experience essential.
  • Knowledge and use of IT systems including MS Word and Excel.
  • Ability to provide cover at the firm’s other offices at Peterlee, Wingate and Durham.
  • Good verbal and written communication skills.
  • An organised and methodical approach to working with excellent attention to detail.
  • Good administrative skills.
  • A polite, cheerful attitude, particularly when meeting clients.

Company information

High street solicitors dealing with private and publicly funded work.  Four offices at Hartlepool, Peterlee, Wingate and Durham.  Please refer to our website for more information.

Application information

Email CV and cover letter to or by post to TMJ Legal Services, Foster House, 99 Raby Road, Hartlepool, TS24 8DT.

Freehold and Leasehold Properties – Advice for Buyers

Posted: 19th November 2021

If you’ve been looking for a property to purchase, you will probably have encountered the terms Freehold and Leasehold already. There are big differences between Freehold and Leasehold properties, and it can make a huge difference in the long term, so it’s incredibly important that you are able to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with your property purchase.

If a property is Freehold, this means that the owner owns the property outright, for an unlimited term. There are usually less restrictions on what can be done with a Freehold property than on a Leasehold property, which is subject to a Lease for a certain number of years. After the term of the Lease has expired, ownership of the property reverts to whoever owns the Freehold title out of which the Lease was granted. If there is a short time left on the Lease, you could find it more difficult to sell the property, and many mortgage lenders will refuse to lend on properties with shorter Leases.

For this reason, you should find out how long is left to run on the Leasehold title as early as possible, and you should also establish who owns the Freehold title. It is quite common, in the case of Leasehold houses, to find that the Freehold title has been bought by the Leasehold owner, in which case the term of the Lease is less of a concern. In these cases, it is essential to ensure that the Freehold title is also transferred when the sale completes.

While it is common to see Leasehold titles for flats and apartments, it is also quite common to find Leasehold houses. In the case of flats, the Lease is extremely important for ensuring that the owners of individual properties comply with obligations that benefit all of the individual owners, such as contributing to the repair and maintenance of common areas, and also often ensures that the owner of the Freehold title adequately insures the building.

Leasehold properties also often come with additional costs such as an annual “service charge” which commonly covers the property’s share of the costs of maintaining common areas, accountant’s fees, insurance and the managing agent’s fees. You may also be expected to pay annual “ground rent” to the Freehold owner or their representative.

Ordinarily you would not be expected to pay rent or annual service charge for a Freehold property, although some housing estates do include common areas such as a play area or parking bays, in which case a management company is usually set up to collect the charges from the property owners.

It’s just as important to examine the legal condition of a property as its physical condition and taking the time to do so now might save you time and money in the long term.

This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon in place of specific legal advice. Please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced Conveyancing team for advice and assistance.

News article by Kim Johnson

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