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What is Property Litigation?

Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership and tenancy in real property and in personal property. In Scots law, the distinction between real rights and personal rights is of utmost importance. Real rights include ownership, lease and security. For example, if someone owns a car, the legal position of that person is that he has a real right (of ownership) over a thing (the car). Legally, we could say that the individual has a real right of ownership in a car.

A personal right is a right against another person or group of persons. Among personal rights recognized in Scots law are contractual rights. One way of differentiating between real rights and personal rights is to say that, while a real right is a right to use or prevent others from using, a personal right is a right to make someone perform some act, or prevent someone from performing it. This distinction between real property and personal property is crucial to understand how the Scots legal system works.

Why does this matter? An example will clarify and illustrate the differences:

Let us say that A owns a local shop in Glasgow. B wishes to buy the shop. A and B enter a contract of sale. When the contract is formed B has a personal right. This personal right is enforceable against A. A is under an obligation to transfer the ownership of the shop. The obligation to transfer means that A must deliver a conveyance of the property to B. However, that is simply the position in relation to the contract. In relation to the local shop, the position is that A has the real right of ownership. The real right of ownership will not transfer until B has registered the conveyance. The personal right regulates the relationship between persons and the real right regulates the relationship between a person and a thing. Property litigation takes place when, for example, A may default in transferring the land or he refuses to make the transfer. B, therefore, has a personal right to sue A for delivery of the property. This is just an example of how property law can get complicated, and the Dallas McMillan Team are experts in all property related disputes.

Property litigation is a field of law that deals with disputes relating to property and usually involves contentious issues relating to commercial, agricultural and residential property. Much of Dallas McMillan Team offer proper legal advice and genuine understanding of the real estate market.

The team deals with:

  • Contracts relating to property law in Scotland
  • Purchases and sale of land
  • Boundary disputes
  • Disputed ownership
  • Lease negotiation and other landlord and tenant issues
  • Rectification of land certificates
  • Rent review
  • Rights of access
  • Building contracts
  • Dilapidation claims
  • Nuisance and damage to property
  • Pollution
  • Agricultural and commercial tenancies
  • Planning inquiries and appeals, among other issues

Disputes involving property happen. The Dallas McMillan Team will provide technical expertise, experience and approachability in all property related disputes, including:

Landlord and Tenant Disputes

Disputes between tenants and their landlords can be complicated. If you are a tenant in a privately rented property, you have certain rights and responsibilities. As a tenant, you have the right to live in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair; have your deposit returned once the tenancy ends; challenge excessively high charges; live in the property undisturbed; be protected from unfair eviction or unfair rent; and have a tenancy agreement that it is fair and accords with the law.

A tenant’s responsibilities include: giving access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs; taking good care of the property; pay the agreed rent; pay other charges as agreed in the tenancy agreement with the landlord; and repair or pay for any damage caused under your care.

If you are the landlord in a property, you have the right to take legal action to evict the tenant if he/she does not meet their responsibilities. Landlords have to keep their rented properties safe and free from health hazards; making sure gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained; follow fire safety regulations; providing an Energy Performance Certificate for the property and protecting the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme.

Landlords and tenants usually face problems in relation to their:

  • Tenancy agreement
  • Lodgers and subtenants
  • Landlord registration
  • Landlord’s rights of entry
  • Safety of appliances
  • Repairs
  • Facing Eviction
  • Paying the rent and council tax

Agricultural and Commercial tenancies

Leases can also be granted over other types of property, such as agricultural and commercial property. Commercial, business and investment undertakings frequently take their premises by way of lease rather than by purchase. Commercial leases are often of long duration and are different from residential leases. For example, full repairing and insurance clauses may place on the tenant the burden of repairs and risk to the property. Thus, the tenant is bound to pay not only the rent, but also the full expenses of maintaining and insuring the property. For this and other reasons, the negotiation of commercial leases is of prime importance and Dallas MacMillan is ready to help you in every step of the way.

With agricultural tenancies, the property is used for agricultural land, for example, for commercial farming for: growing fruit, seeds and other crops; raising livestock; dairy farming and market gardening. In Scotland, the Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act 1991 looks at landlords and tenants rights as both have certain responsibilities to maintain the fixed equipment on the rented land.

Contact Dallas McMillan

Dallas McMillan are able to assist whether you are a landlord, contractor, developer, tenant owner, factor, infrastructure provider, registered social landlord (such as housing association) or occupier, when a real estate contract, transaction or business becomes contentious.

Dallas McMillan will provide legal advice on the various real estate issues, including residential property disputes, as well as commercial and agricultural property. Dallas McMillan will aim to achieve dispute settlements by mediation, arbitration and lastly, litigation. To work with an experienced property team, contact us today.

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