We advised a client with a long lease on a residential property concerning breaches of covenant by an occupational tenant. There were two issues:
a) Damage to the property and unpaid rent from the occupational tenant;
b) The management company’s legal costs for dealing with the breaches of covenant on behalf of neighbouring property owners.
Loss to our client under (a) was less than £5k so advice was taken from our Dispute Resolution team who advised on the drafting of the claim, but to keep costs to a minimum we advised that it would be more cost effective for the client to submit the claim himself. We responded to the management company’s solicitors regarding the alleged breaches of covenant and at the same time we queried elements of the lease which appeared to have been misinterpreted by neighbouring property owners. Following eviction of the occupational tenant, the management company’s solicitors responded to our letter and attempted to pass on additional legal costs. As there was no subsisting breach of covenant at that point we argued that, under the lease, they could not pass on legal costs to our client and they backed down. The whole exercise saved our client money in terms of legal fees.