Property is one of the most valuable assets that anyone can own, whether as an individual or a business. Notwithstanding the great advantages that making use of a piece of property can bring e.g. establishing a new premises for a business or identifying an area of land as ripe for commercial development, it is also fertile for different kinds of disputes to ‘crop up’ from time to time.
An important step in dealing with any property dispute is to take a pragmatic but commercial approach, and work with an experienced legal advisor who can assist you in navigating the complex rules and procedures to resolve matters as quickly as possible.
At Szabo & Associates, Solicitors we are acutely aware of the fact that disputes over property can be incredibly taxing, both in terms of the manpower to manage them and to understand how the complex property rules will affect your position. No matter whether your dispute relates to a commercial agreement e.g. a lease of a property or commercial property and leasing disputes, or is more specialised and relates to environmental or development issues, the team at Szabo & Associates, Solicitors will be able to help.
Commercial and Property Disputes Lawyers Sydney & New South Wales
As a firm of commercial lawyers we at Szabo & Associates, Solicitors have a property disputes team that has a wide breadth of experience in advising on property disputes, including:
In most tenancy agreements for property, landlords will have rights to terminate your tenancy in certain key circumstances e.g. there has been a material breach of the terms of the lease. However, it may be the case that this termination is fundamentally unfair, even if the landlord is acting within the rights under the lease e.g. termination of a lease for non-payment of rent.
Whether a decision is fair or not will depend on the circumstances. However, if there is evidence that the decision to terminate was unfair, then you could commence legal action seeking ‘relief against forfeiture’ from the courts. This would allow you to return to the property, but only if you are able to demonstrate that: (i) the decision to terminate in the first case was unfair; and (ii) that you won’t allow this to happen again. Commencing legal action should be done quickly, and with the guidance of experience legal counsel to handle court procedure.
Managing co-owned property is difficult, not least because there are more than one person’s views to be considered before a course of action can be taken in a commercial context. If you find yourself experiencing problems in this respect it may be necessary to involve the courts in ensuring that obligations are observed e.g. satisfaction of landlord costs in respect of commercial or industrial tenancies. Litigating property disputes can result in spiralling costs and may not result in the desired outcome if not handled by experienced professionals. It is important that if you are intending to litigate against a co-owner, you entrust this in the hands of experienced court lawyers who can process the matter as quickly as possible.
Co-ownership of property can lead to difficulties, particularly when one party wishes to sell while the other is more resistant to the idea. In these cases, it is possible to approach the New South Wales (NSW) Supreme Court (NSWSC) to allow the property to be sold by appointment of a ‘trustee for sale’. This involves the NSWSC appointing an individual to sell the property and then distribute the proceeds of the sale amongst the owners. These applications tend to be granted, as the court will not refuse an application on the basis of hardship or unfairness claimed by a reluctant owner.
The appointment of a ‘trustee for sale’ can also be very useful in dealing with instances where fellow owners of a joint business are unable to agree on the sale of business assets. This may be due to their relationship having broken down or for some other reason. Again, the NSWSC will not refuse an application unless there are special circumstances which preclude the sale of the property e.g. terms of a contract requiring unanimous consent among owners for sale. Protracted negotiations over the sale of business assets can be lengthy and financially onerous. Therefore, the appointment of a ‘trustee for sale’ can speed up the process and save both time and money.
Areas of open land and also already developed property (when there has been a re-zoning) can form the basis of an ambitious property development. Property development involves a great deal of planning and investment, not least in satisfying local council planning requirements. If you are a property developer and your application for development consent has been denied, there may be scope to challenge the basis for this refusal.
The Land & Environment Court (LEC) is the specialised court for development disputes to be heard. If your development application has been refused, you should instruct a team of skilled litigators to appear before the LEC and seek a development appeal of the council’s decision. The process for a development appeal can be difficult to follow for the uninitiated, but the decision of the LEC is binding and could result in a refusal by a local council being overturned.
Property disputes can be incredibly demanding for all involved but are an unfortunate reality of owning or occupying property. It is advisable that in attempting to resolve them, a pragmatic approach is taken with a view to coming to a decision that makes sense.
Contact our Property Disputes Lawyers Sydney & NSW
At Szabo & Associates, Solicitors we believe in taking a commercial approach to all property disputes and finding the way a solution that is likely to deliver the desired result within the shortest timeframe for our clients. Our team of expert property dispute lawyers in Sydney & NSW have experience of working with a variety of clients, both businesses and individuals, to bring disputes to an end quickly. We will conduct an exacting review of your situation and provide you with comprehensive, tailored advice that reflects your situation and desired outcome. If you would like to find out more about how we could help, contact us today.