Residential property dispute solicitors

For many of us, our homes are our most valuable asset not only financially, but emotionally. With the property sector being as large as it is, and with issues surrounding it likely to affect most adults, it is no surprise that disputes between building owners often arise.

Our dispute resolution solicitors offer a wide range of services and boast over 100 years’ collective experience. We understand that no one chooses to become involved in litigation, not only because of the diversion of resources from your usual day-to-day duties, but also it is an additional expense. 

When disputes do arise, we offer our clients practical and streamlined advice which is tailored to you and your objectives. Our dispute resolution team contains many determined and qualified litigators. If necessary, we are equipped to assist you if court proceedings are required to be issued but, similarly, we are experienced in negotiation to prevent matters having to reach that stage.

Becoming involved in a dispute involving your property is an incredibly stressful position to find yourself in. When something goes wrong in relation to property it can be an incredibly time consuming and upsetting ordeal. 

Birkett Long’s specialist dispute resolution lawyers aim to take the stress from you and put ourselves in your corner to protect you and your property. With our dedicated team of lawyers, who are experts in the field of personal property litigation, we have no doubt that you will consider that your most valued asset, is in safe hands.

There are various disputes which can arise involving property and we can assist you with the vast majority of them. For example, we can assist with the following:-

Adverse possession

Adverse possession arises where a person who does not have legal title to a property, applies for or acquires the legal right to it. We can assist in the making of these applications and the objection to them.

Boundary disputes

Boundary disputes arise where two people, often neighbours, both consider that a certain bit of land belongs to them. Or, disputes can crop up over the disagreement between where the title to one property stops, and another begins.

Easement disputes

An easement is a right benefitting a piece of land which is enjoyed over another piece of land. For example, the right to use pipes or drains. We can assist in the creation of easements, advise on the scope of them, the termination of easements and more.

Land registration

We can advise on the status of land, together with any application for rectification or alteration of land registry titles, if you feel there has been an error in your registered title.

Nuisance claims 

Nuisance can take various forms: private, public or statutory. 

What is private nuisance?

Private nuisance is the encroachment or interference of your land or use of land by another.

What is public nuisance?

Public nuisance is an act that endangers life, health etc of the public or obstructs their common rights

What is statutory nuisance?

Statutory nuisance is something which affects health or causes a disturbance, as defined in the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Party wall disputes

Party wall disputes can arise when neighbours who share a boundary carry out building works to party walls or structures, repairs to party structures or excavate up to six metres from neighbouring buildings. Disputes can arise between adjoining owners when notices are not given in accordance with legislation or, notice is given, and parties object.

Possession proceedings

We can assist in all manner of evictions whether tenants are subject to a written Assured Shorthold Tenancy or licence, or whether they are not.

Removal of squatters

If property or land you own has become occupied by either people known or unknown to you, we can assist in taking back possession.

Residential forfeiture

This means, the ending of residential leases by a landlord. This is a very complex area of law and requires a lot of consideration and steps taken as required by statute before it can take place. We can advise on this process whether you are a landlord or a tenant.

Right of way disputes

If you have the benefit of a right of way – either on foot or with a vehicle - which is being obstructed, we can assist with this. Similarly, if you exercise a right of way that is not reflected in your legal title, we can also help.

Service charge disputes

These can arise where a landlord is owed service charges, or a tenant feels the charges they are issued with are unreasonable. We can assist in the recovery or challenge of service charge demands.


If your land is being trespassed upon, for example, a neighbour uses your garden for access to their own, or is parking on land belonging to you, we can assist in preventing this trespass.

How do residential property disputes proceed?

Residential property disputes (when litigated) often proceed in either civil courts or land tribunals. Our team is experienced and equipped to advise on either process. There are varying cost recovery principles in each forum, so it is essential that legal advice is taken as early as possible.

Of course, the above list is by no means limited. Whatever the situation, and whatever the worry, our team will be able to assist you.

Our expert team includes partners, associates, solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals and legal assistants. As a team with such a large breadth of experience, we are able to provide the most cost-effective legal advice and bespoke service to our clients. 

We are committed to ensuring you are comfortable and confident with your adviser and that we offer a service which reflects the value you are looking for.

If you wish to discuss any dispute you have, whether this is current, past or impending, then we would urge you to get in touch. 

We have a large team of dedicated dispute resolution lawyers but, by way of introduction, we have three key contacts for property disputes, Keith Songhurst is a Partner based in our Chelmsford office. Emma Jenkins is a solicitor based in our Colchester office.

staff re-order for landlord or neighbour disputes

  • Emma Jenkins
  • Molly Frankham​
  • Keith Songhurst
  • Laura Meers