Residential Tenancy Dispute and Legal Costs 


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What is a Residential Tenancy Dispute?

A residential tenancy dispute refers to disagreements between landlords and tenants, or between leaseholders and freeholders, over issues concerning residential property. These types of disputes include, but not limited to:

Rent increases:

Landlord and tenant disputes are often caused by rent increases. Landlords may wish to increase the rent to market rates, but tenants may dispute the fairness of such increases. In the case of an assured or assured shorthold tenancy, a tenant can apply to a tribunal to challenge an increase if it has been issued as part of a ‘Section 13 Procedure’​.

Leasehold disputes:

These can involve issues like variable service charges, the recognition of a tenants’ association, and management disputes​.

Leasehold enfranchisement:

Leaseholders may want to buy the freehold for a group of flats or extend their lease, which can lead to disputes​​.

Park home disputes:

Disagreements regarding park homes may arise concerning breach of agreement or changing the pitch fee​​.

Licences for Houses in Multiple Occupation:

Property disputes may occur regarding the licensing conditions for houses in multiple occupation​​.

Rent arrears disputes:

If a tenant falls behind on rent payments to their private landlord or letting agent, they are said to be in ‘rent arrears’. Dealing with rent arrears should be done as promptly as possible to prevent the situation from worsening.

It is also vital for tenants to verify if they are indeed responsible for the arrears before making any payments, especially in situations involving joint tenancies or when they have taken over a tenancy from someone else.

Tenancy deposit disputes:

When there is a dispute over a tenancy deposit, the Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme offers a free dispute resolution service.

If tenants disagree with their landlords about the amount of the deposit to be returned, they can raise a dispute with the TDP scheme holding their deposit.

The deposit will be repaid to them based in an adjudicator’s decision. If a deposit has not been properly retained and protected, a legal claim can be brought regarding this.

Accelerated possession and unlawful eviction:

Disputes over accelerated possession typically arise when a landlord uses a ‘Section 21 notice’ to reclaim their property at the end of a fixed-term tenancy without stating any particular reason. Tenants may dispute the notice if they believe the eviction is retaliatory or the notice is invalid.

Unlawful eviction disputes occur when a landlord forcibly evicts a tenant without following the legal process. This includes failing to give the correct notice period, changing the locks, or evicting without a court order, which can be considered harassment or illegal eviction. Tenants subjected to such actions have the right to claim damages through the court

Breach of tenancy agreement

Disputes may arise if either the landlord or tenant breaches a term or terms within the tenancy agreement.

When residential tenancy disputes arise, the parties can apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber – Residential Property) in England and Wales. This tribunal is independent of the government and listens to both sides of the argument before making a legally binding decision.

Residential Tenancy Dispute Costs

In the majority of residential tenancy disputes, legal costs will be recoverable from the losing party. Costs involved in a tenancy dispute may include solicitor fees for legal advice and assistance, ADR costs, for example, if a mediation service was used, Court fees, and expert witness fees.

The process of detailed assessment will usually be followed to determine the level of costs recoverable in these types of cases. These costs fall under the scope of CPR 45.1 for residential disputes and therefore standard (hourly rate) costs may apply for any exclusions, otherwise fixed costs are recoverable pursuant to the reforms implemented from 1 October 2023. 

If the landlord is successful and if detailed as such in any tenancy contract, costs may also be payable on an hourly rate basis, and sometimes on an indemnity basis.

How can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs can assist will all aspects of costs concerning the claiming or defending of a residential tenancy dispute.

ARC Costs are a team of independent and experienced Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers who regularly assist Paying and Receiving parties in the recovery/contention of costs.

We can assist in the preparation/challenging of Bills of Costs, conducting of detailed assessment proceedings, and the preparation of Points of Dispute/Reply.

Should you require our assistance or have any further queries regarding costs, please contact us on 01204 397 302 or email one of the team at Alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form, and we will contact you to discuss your query or speak to our staff using the live chat function.

At ARC Costs, we also maintain an extensive legal network of expert Solicitors in the legal field of tenancy disputes. If you intend to pursue or defend a tenancy dispute case, we would be happy to pass on your query to one of the Solicitors on our panel.

We may receive payments from third party solicitors on our panel (for non-FCA regulated work) to whom we may refer your claim. We will never charge you for any referrals made to our panel of third parties.

Request Your Free Quotation

Contact us today for your free, no obligation quotation. Our team are on hand to help.


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01204 397302

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