Phil Copley

phil.copley@legalstudio.co.uk

Property Litigation & Disputes

After graduating from Newcastle University with a Masters degree in English Literature, I worked in-house at a specialist financial services company for a number of years (specialising in arrears management, shortfall recovery, and professional negligence) before re-training as a lawyer by obtaining a GDL from Leeds Beckett in 2016 and following on from that the LPC from Leeds Beckett and the PSC from BPP in 2018. I qualified in July 2018. In law, every day is different and the work is challenging and interesting.

Covering all aspects of property disputes and property litigation, I’ve advised an array of clients, both corporate and individuals, on a wide range of issues. I act for commercial and residential landlords and tenants, dealing with rent arrears, possession, breaches of lease, subletting, and lease renewals and terminations. I have also dealt with boundary disputes, neighbour disputes, trespass claims, adverse possession claims, deposit disputes, rights of way, and HMOs.

I take a commercial approach to my advice; seeking to resolve disputes without the need for potentially expensive litigation wherever possible, all whilst obtaining the best possible result for my clients.

Before joining Legal Studio I worked in-house for over four years and then for three years at 3volution in Leeds. I joined Legal Studio because I wanted a positive and flexible culture and environment and it was obvious really quickly that Legal Studio offered this. To be able to work how I want, when I want and how is best for me and my clients is incredibly empowering. The environment here is supportive and nurturing and gives me the time and freedom to relax and pursue passions outside of my career, such as baking, reading, going to gigs and watching my beloved Bradford City play.

 


 

Specialist Areas of Interest

Property Litigation

Property Disputes

Phil's Latest Blogs

Today a number of changes related to property law have come into effect. These include: 
  • HMO licensing and regulations – properties will now require a HMO licence if there are five or more people in two or more separate households. This includes two storey households and one storey properties, removing the requirement that a licensable HMO must be three storeys. There are also new room size requirements.
 
  • Section 21 notices – sections 33 to 38 and 40 of the Deregulation Act 2015 (related to retaliatory eviction, prescribed forms, and compliance with prescribed legal requirements) will now apply to all tenancies, as opposed to tenancies commencing on or after 1 October 2015 as previously was the case. This could cause difficulties for landlords with older tenancies in obtaining possession.
 
  • Suspended possession order – there is now no requirement to make a separate part 83(2) application for permission for a warrant for breach of a suspended possession order where the breach is failure to pay rent and/or arrears instalments. 
 
  • Rogue landlord database – a local authority may place any person on the database who has been convicted of a banning order offence or has received a fine in respect of a banning order within the same 12 month period. 

The PLA’s boundary dispute protocol has recently also come into effect. We’ll be blogging about that shortly…
2018 40 01
Phil Copley
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 come into effect on 1 April 2018.
 
From that date, all landlords must ensure that their properties (both residential and commercial) must be at least For all new tenancies created from 1 April 2018, all landlords must ensure that their properties (both residential and commercial) must be at least an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘E’.
 
For all tenancies already existing before 1 April 2018, the requirement applies to all residential properties from 1 April 2020 and all commercial properties from 1 April 2023.
 
While there are limited exemptions to these requirements, it is important that all landlords start taking steps to get their properties into shape.

For help getting your properties into shape, contact our experts today.
 
2018 30 14
Phil Copley

A boundary dispute often includes two parties fighting over a small strip of land, where neither party changes its standpoint and legal costs quickly increase due to their unwillingness to use ADR. When establishing a boundary, complex questions arise such as:
 

  • Is the boundary marked by a physical feature?
  • Is the boundary defined in legal documents?
  • Is the physical boundary followed exactly the same as the legal boundary?
  • Is there an agreement between the owners, a statute or legal presumption that defines the boundary?

These disputes can be notoriously complex and the final outcome can be uncertain. But there must be some other way to resolve this efficiently.

Now, there is.

A new Boundary Disputes Protocol has been created by the Property Litigation Association. The Protocol applies to both commercial and residential property within England and Wales and assumes that informal discussions have failed, and a more structured resolution is required. It is a FREE resource online for parties alongside relevant guidance.
 

What does the Protocol do?

There are a number of time limits and processes that the Protocol implements for parties in order to exchange information and resolve the dispute efficiently and consensually. Failure to comply with the Protocol could result in costs being awarded at court against the non-complying party.
 

What does the Protocol say?

1. When a dispute arises, neither party should interfere with the boundary or the disputed land, until the dispute is resolved.

2. Neither party should do anything which may impair the relationship between the parties or increase costs unnecessarily.

3. Both parties should agree to use the Boundary Dispute Protocol.

4. The First Conveyance should be interpreted to determine the location of the boundary. The words used, and the physical features referred to on the First Conveyance can assist the dispute. In some circumstances, subsequent conduct and services could be relevant.

5. Each party must consider the evidence that they can use. They must exchange documentary evidence they have, identify proposed witnesses and what they will say.

6. When appropriate, a joint expert should be instructed. If separate experts are justified, the experts need to write reports, meet up, identify the issues in dispute and set a strict timetable.

7. There should be an on-site meeting with the parties in dispute and any surveyors that have been instructed. An agreement on what the issues are needs to be made.

8. Any agreement reached must be set out in a written document and state clearly what has been agreed or what is required. It may refer to physical features on the ground. This will prevent future disputes. For certainty, it is wise to ask a lawyer to draw up this agreement.

9. Each party should apply to the Land Registry to note the agreement against their titles.

Following this Protocol will help you solve a dispute earlier, avoid unnecessary costs and can preserve a relationship between neighbours. We therefore suggest that you seriously consider the Protocol before pursuing litigation.

The easy to read Protocol can be found here

2018 08 22
Phil Copley