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Peter Petts
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“His knowledge of the law is excellent and he is unfazed by anything thrown at him in conference or in court.”

"He is outstanding."

Legal 500

Peter is ranked as a leading junior in Property Litigation.  He regularly accepts all levels of court and tribunal instructions, predominantly in the fields of landlord and tenant, and real property. He has wide-ranging trial and appellate experience in the Court of Appeal, High Court, County Court, Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), and the Land Registration and Residential divisions of the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal.

As well as trial advocacy, Peter has wide experience of more complex interim application, including security for costs, interim injunctions and committal proceedings.

In addition to his general drafting and advisory work, which is held in high regard, Peter advises on the drafting of leases and commercial agreements.

Peter’s clients particularly appreciate the clarity and commercial reality of his advice, and he regularly accepts licensed and public access work.

As Secretary of the Property Bar Association, Peter was regularly involved in court and tribunal consultations; working closely with the PLA.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Peter’s expertise covers a wide range of commercial landlord and tenant work, including: rent reviews; renewal of business tenancies; service charges; dilapidations; compensation for improvements; assignment; forfeiture and relief; other breaches of covenants, and interpretation and enforceability of covenants.

He regularly gives talks and writes on all aspects of forfeiture.

Peter has expertise in respect of the leases of licensed premises.  He represents both Pubcos and tenants in all conceivable disputes which may arise, including: construction of covenants, forfeiture, rent reviews, lease renewals, lease variations, validity and breaches of beer ties, injunctions, the landlord’s right of access, misrepresentation, and mistake.

Relevant work

  • Summary dismissal of tenant’s injunction against its landlord, followed forfeiture of the lease
  • £1m commercial service charge trial
  • Advising on construction of railway lease service charge provisions
  • Holding over and contracting out of security of tenure
  • Injunction, including interim injunction, in respect of breach of covenants against alterations and trespass
  • Summary dismissal of forfeiture claim on the basis of waiver
  • Successful opposition of relief from forfeiture claim
  • Successful opposition to lease renewal involving Tesco and Spar
  • Admiral Taverns (Cygnet) Ltd v Daly (CA) [2009] 4 All ER [Application of restriction on the court’s power to delay possession (s. 89 of the Housing Act 1980) to the appellate courts

Real Property & Mortgages

Peter’s real property expertise includes: conveyancing and land registration; party wall disputes; easements and covenants; co-ownership, trusts and proprietary estoppel; disputed boundaries and adverse possession; public and private nuisance, and mortgages and charges.

Relevant work

  • Advising on injunction against trespassing picketers
  • Recovery of £800k in VAT under contract for sale of land as a transfer of a going concern
  • Construction and enforcement of friendly society rules, regulated by Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, in respect of freehold property
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation on sale of land
  • Successfully opposing claim for drainage easement
  • Successfully striking out and opposing appeals on security for costs
  • Party Wall injunction and application for committal following breach
  • Successful Land Registration boundary rectification claim
  • Successfully opposing Land Registration adverse possession claim
  • Advising on nuisance claim in respect of water ingress from neighbouring land
  • Successful acting for an international gas and oil exploration company in obtaining possession of a wellhead site from anti-fracking protestors
  • Successfully defending allegations of fraud in a sale of land dispute
  • Adverse possession and the intention to possess
  • Boundary dispute involving overriding interests
  • Advising on the variation and discharge of freehold restrictive covenants
  • Defending trust of land proceedings instigated by a purported legal advisor

Leasehold & Leasehold Management

Peter’s residential landlord and tenant practice covers contractual, Housing Act and Rent Act tenancies, as well as long leases.

Peter has a wealth of experience before the LVT and the Land Registry Adjudicator, now the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal.

Relevant work

  • Summary dismissal of forfeiture claim for breach of statutory requirements
  • Determination of breach and forfeiture of a St John’s Wood lease
  • £1m service charge dispute
  • Chancery Division injunction to prevent the sale of a property by LPA receivers
  • Advising on validity of service charge demands, consultation and limitation
  • Advising six figure service charge dispute and liability on assignment of the term
  • Advising a landlord on numerous leases of some 900 properties, including the cost, provision and recovery of privately provided utilities and the impact of the statutory service charge regime
  • The recovery of the landlord’s LVT costs as administration charges under the lease
  • Contested Rent Act possession claims founded on cessation of occupation as a resident, and nuisance or annoyance, waste and neglect
  • Landlord’s licence to alter and recovery of the landlord’s costs
  • Jackson v JH Watson Property Investment Ltd (2008) 11 EG 94; (2008) 2 EG147 (CS); (2008) NPC 1.  Neighbouring landlord not liable to tenant for nuisance existing prior to the granting of the lease: caveat lessor

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

Peter undertakes all forms of private residential landlord and tenant work.

Development

Peter undertakes all aspects of work covering the creation or transfer of interests in land and associated incorporeal hereditaments.

Trusts of Land

Peter undertakes all aspects of work concerning trusts of land.

Property Professionals

Peter undertakes all property related professional negligence work.

Relevant work

  • Advising on surveyor’s negligent mundic testing and third party indemnity
  • Solicitor’s negligence in advising client on easements affecting property
  • Property manager/Surveyor’s negligence in complying with the lease provisions when demanding service charge
  • Solicitor’s negligence/fraud in acting for a mortgagee on the purchase of a property
  • Surveyor’s negligence claim in failing to advise on a structurally unsound property
  • Managing agent’s negligence in complying with the statutory residential service charge regime
  • The negligence of a surveyor who held himself out as having expertise in medieval properties
  • Advising and managing the clients’ expectations as to the level of damages, where the Defendant surveyor had admitted liability

Professional associations

  • Past Secretary & Treasurer of the Property Bar Association (PBA)
  • Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
  • Bar Pro Bono Panel Member

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons)(Lond)
  • Inner Temple Bursary
  • Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship

Directory recommendations

Peter is recommended in Legal 500 for Property Litigation. The directory notes:

“He is outstanding.”

“Has an assured manner and an excellent technical grasp.”

“Direct and to the point, and has very good knowledge of landlord and tenant law.”

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