Property Litigation

Our Property Litigation Team is recognised for its strength and experience. Our solicitors play a crucial role in a substantial number of property and commercial transactions on stand-alone matters and in support of other departments. We advise on all aspects of property litigation and handle high value complex work, ranging from commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, service charge claims, property issues arising in redevelopment projects and on insolvency, to equitable proprietary remedies, including trusts of land and agricultural land disputes.


  • Contracts
  • Landlord and tenant issues
  • Leasehold enfranchisement
  • Options to break contracts
  • Dilapidations claims 
  • Party wall claims
  • Right of light 
  • Easement proceedings
  • Mortgage repossession and restructuring claims
  • Claims in insolvency
  • Property related negligence matters
  • Debt recovery work
  • Social Housing 

Relevant work

  • High Court Chancery proceedings in relation to land ownership claims concerning land and entitlements to income/expenditure.
  • Advised an energy client in regard to its right to remove the protesters from a drilling site and its ability to bring injunctive action for public and private nuisance. 
  • Advised in relation to negligent service received by our client's managing agents, and in particular with regard to recovery of service charges and management of premises.
  • Advised a client on the removal of 20 tenants from a potential development site in South London to obtain vacant possession in order to sell the site. 
  • Acting for a large corporate landlord client in relation to a contentious collective enfranchisement claim. 
  • Advising a Registered Provider client in relation to a leaseholder's challenge to service charges claimed following major works.
  • Successfully challenging a claim for service charges on behalf of a leaseholder where the landlord failed to comply with the statutory requirements.


Good Faith - Case Update

There is no widely accepted definition of good faith and instead its meaning and effect are likely to vary depending on the context in which the obligation applies.

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Insider Awards 2015

Ashfords has been shortlisted in the Insider Property Awards, South West 2015.

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Phillips v Francis: Back to the Future in relation to Service Charge Consultation

In a long-awaited judgement from the Court of Appeal, the 2012 decision of the Chancellor in Phillips & Goddard v Francis has been overturned.

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Court of Appeal looks beyond purely financial consideration in property dispute following relationship breakdown.

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Southwell v Blackburn [2014] is a warning to home owners that the Courts will look beyond mere purely financial considerations when addressing property disputes between cohabitees on a relationship breakdown.

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Adverse Possession

The rules relating to adverse possession changed on 13 October 2003 when the relevant provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002 ("LRA 2002") came into force.

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How to prevent and remove squatters

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs recently purchased the old Manchester Stock Exchange as they planned to redevelop it into a boutique hotel. Whilst waiting for the relevant permissions to come through and the works to start, squatters moved in.

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All Change for Part 36

The 78th update of the Civil Procedure Rules introduces a number of changes, most of which are due to enter into force on 6 April 2015. One significant change will be in relation to Part 36.

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Section 21, Disrepair and the Deregulation Act 2015: increasing the burden on local authorities

On 26 March 2015, the Deregulation Bill received Royal Assent, thereby becoming an Act of Parliament. This Act will have a significant effect on the rented sector. Sitting alongside provisions relating to tenancy deposits, it is a legislative change that is more than likely to increase the strain on the environmental health teams of local authorities.

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Section 21, Disrepair and the Deregulation Act: a shield for tenants?

On 16 March 2015, the final text of the Deregulation Bill was agreed. This Bill will shortly receive Royal Assent. Once in force, this Act will have a significant effect on the private rented sector. Sitting alongside provisions relating to tenancy deposits, it is a legislative change that could give private landlords a real headache.

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Ashfords Sian Gibbon

Property Litigation
+44 (0)1392 334101

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