Commercial Property Disputes

Commercial property describes any property that is not used for domestic or residential purposes.  Often, commercial property is rented subject to a lease, which can often be the source of disputes between landlords and their tenants.


Common areas of dispute that we see and can assist with at Richardson Lissack include:

  • Breaches of covenant, including failure to pay rent and/or service charge</li
  • Forfeiture and relief from forfeiture claims
  • Contested lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the Act”)
  • Dilapidation claims
  • Nuisance disputes
  • Adverse possession claims
  • Claims against trespassers

In some situations, disputes can be resolved amicably between landlords and tenants. Unfortunately, in certain scenarios, litigation becomes the only recourse available.

Commercial property disputes can be particularly complex given that the relationship between landlords and tenants will not only be governed by the terms of their lease, but also supplemented by common law and statute.

For example, where a landlord is contemplating forfeiture, the landlord must first satisfy itself that the right to forfeiture has arisen under the lease or, where the lease does not include an express right to forfeit, that an implied right to forfeit has arisen.   If a right to forfeit exists, depending on the circumstances, a landlord must also then follow the relevant statutory provision, such as serving notice on the tenant under section 146(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925.  Additionally, the landlord will need to take actions to ensure that it has not waived the right to forfeiture, for example by ceasing demanding and accepting rent.

In addition to disputes between landlord and tenants, we also see professional negligence claims that arise from commercial property transactions.  A recent example that we have dealt with is a claim against a firm of solicitors for failing apply to the court for an order for the grant of a new tenancy under section 24 of the Act following the service of a notice by the landlord under section 25 of the Act.

Prevention is better than a cure

How Richardson Lissack can help

Richardson Lissack provides civil litigation services to both landlord and tenants in relation to a variety of commercial property disputes. As with all matters we deal with, we will seek to resolve disputes in the most cost-effective and commercial way possible, whether that is through the exchange of correspondence or by exploring methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  In circumstances where court proceedings are inevitable, we will ensure to guide you through the process, again with a view to resolving matters with the interest of the client at the forefront of our mind.

Our lawyers are available to assist you and provide legal advice.

Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively you can email




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