Commercial Property Dispute Resolution: A Short Guide

Commercial property disputes are common and encompass a wide range of issues. For many, taking legal action is an effective commercial dispute resolution method; however, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) should be attempted before resorting to court proceedings.

Expert Commercial Law have a panel of law firms with experience in a wide range of issues who can assist you in resolving a commercial property dispute.

What is a commercial property dispute?

Commercial property disputes are conflicts arising from the ownership, leasing, or use of commercial real estate.

Disputes can vary from late rent payments to complex legal battles over commercial lease agreements. Disagreements often arise over service charges for maintaining and repairing shared spaces in commercial buildings.

Some of the most common types of commercial property disputes include:

Lease Disputes

Lease disputes are among the most common types of commercial property conflicts. They can arise between commercial landlords and tenants over various issues, including:

  • Rent increases: Disagreements over the terms of rent reviews or increases as specified in the lease agreement.
  • Lease renewal terms: Disagreements about when and how a lease can be renewed, like rent and length of lease.
  • Break clauses: Disagreements over the interpretation or execution of clauses that allow either party to terminate the lease before its natural expiration.

Rent Arrears and Eviction

Commercial rent arrears are a common real estate dispute. They arise when tenants fail to pay rent on time. This type of dispute often leads to eviction proceedings. This is where landlords seek to regain possession of their property.

Service Charge Disputes

Service charges in commercial properties cover expenses related to the maintenance and repair of communal areas. Disputes can arise over the fairness of these charges, the quality of services provided, or the lack of transparency in how charges are calculated and allocated.

Boundary and Right of Way Disputes

Boundary and right of way disputes involve disagreements over the physical limits of a property or the rights of one party to cross or use another party’s land for access to their own property. They can become highly complex, involving detailed surveys and interpretations of historic deeds.

Planning and Development Disputes

Conflicts over planning and development can arise when commercial developments are proposed or underway. Issues can include objections to planning permissions, disputes over development agreements, or conflicts with local authorities or neighbouring properties regarding the proposed use of the land.

Construction Disputes

Construction disputes in commercial property can involve a wide range of issues. These may include delays in project completion or disagreements over the quality of work or adherence to contract specifications. These disputes may involve multiple parties, including contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.

Professional Negligence

Professional negligence occurs when a professional involved in the commercial property transaction (such as a surveyor, architect, or solicitor) fails to provide services to the required standard, leading to financial loss. Resolving these disputes often involves demonstrating the professional’s failure and its impact on the client.

Given the wide range of potential disputes, both landlords and tenants should seek legal advice from law firms or solicitors specialising in commercial property dispute resolution.

Commercial property dispute resolution: ADR

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) encompasses a variety of methods designed to resolve a commercial property dispute without resorting to litigation.

ADR techniques include:

  • Mediation: This is where a neutral third party helps the disputing parties reach a voluntary agreement
  • Arbitration: This is where a commercial property dispute is resolved by one or more independent persons making a binding decision.


The advantage of ADR is that it can be more cost-effective. It is quicker, and less formal than court proceedings. This makes it an appealing option for many commercial landlords and tenants.

Commercial property dispute solicitors can assist you through the process of ADR. They can provide advice on the best course of action for your case.

Commercial property dispute resolution: Litigation

Legal action is often viewed as a last resort due to its potential to be time-consuming and expensive. However, litigation becomes necessary when parties cannot reach an agreement through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods.

Commercial property litigation is a structured process that involves presenting the dispute before a court or tribunal, where a judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented.

Dispute resolution solicitors specialising in commercial property are equipped to represent their clients’ interests robustly. The will aim to resolve the dispute cost-effectively whilst minimising potential damage to business relationships.

How can Expert Commercial Law assist?

Commercial property dispute resolution can be difficult to undertake alone. Expert Commercial Law have a panel of solicitors on hand to provide you with specialist legal advice and assistance.

All of the solicitors on our panel have the experience and expertise required to take on your case. We only select the best in the business. All of our solicitor firms are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and offer a range of funding options for your case.

We are not a firm of solicitors; we have a panel of commercial law solicitors. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm.

Commercial property dispute resolution: FAQs

What should I do first if I am involved in a commercial property dispute?

The first step should be to consult with a commercial property dispute solicitor who can provide you with specialised legal advice. They will help you understand your rights and obligations and advise on the best course of action. This may involve negotiation, mediation, or, if necessary, litigation.

How long does commercial property litigation take?

The duration of commercial property litigation can vary widely depending on the complexity of the dispute, the amount of evidence to be gathered, and the court’s schedule. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years. Your solicitor can provide you with a more accurate timeline based on the specifics of your case.

Can I resolve a commercial property dispute without going to court?

Yes, many commercial property disputes are resolved through alternative dispute resolution (ADR). These methods are often quicker, more cost-effective, and less formal than court proceedings, and they allow both parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

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Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 


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