David has extensive experience of a wide range of disputes involving property.
His real property work includes mortgages / charges, orders for sale, easements / wayleaves, and trusts of land / beneficial interests. His landlord and tenant practice (both residential and commercial) includes possession, disrepair and dilapidations, leasehold enfranchisement, breach of covenant / forfeiture, and management and service disputes.
He appears regularly in the Chancery Division, county courts, and the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in respect of both residential leases and land registration. He is a member of the Chancery Bar Assocation.
He is often instructed where there are conveyancing issues or where prospective purchasers require specialist advice on their potential rights against occupiers. David is also instructed in urgent cases involving applications for injunctive relief.
Commercial property: David is regularly instructed in relation to commercial property of all kinds. He has particular expertise in cases involving Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
- Renewal and termination of tenancies protected by Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954
- Break clauses and notices
- Forfeiture and relief from forfeiture
- Recovery of possession
- Rent arrears
- Injunctions to protect the occupiers of commercial premises
- Disputes arising from and advice in relation to the conveyancing of land
Residential property: He is often involved in cases involving residential property, both leasehold and freehold.
- Leasehold enfranchisement
- Management of long leases (acting for both landlords and tenants)
- Recovery of possession of leasehold land
- Land Registry fraud
- Breach of covenant
Real property and land registration: David has a busy caseload involving real property disputes.
- Adverse possession
- Boundary disputes
Mortgages and charges: David is often involved in cases involving the validity and priority of charges (both legal and equitable) and subsequent enforcement by possession / sale.
Trusts of land and beneficial interests: David is often involved in matters where trusts of land or beneficial interests are involved.
- Applications and claims involving the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
- Claims involving resulting or constructive trusts, often arising from failed investments
- Drafting deeds of trust
- Equitable remedies
Housing: David is regularly instructed by both landlords and tenants in respect of housing law.
- Wrongful eviction
- Assured shorthold tenancies
- Rent Act tenancies
- Notices to quit and possession
- Tenancy deposits
Planning and use of land: David is instructed in respect of disputes arising out of the development and use of land.
- Planning applications
- Enforcement notices
- Alcohol and gambling licensing
Matrimonial property and finance: David has significant experience of applications for a financial remedy arising out of divorce. He has appeared in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, as well extensively in the County Court, in cases involving high value property, overseas assets, and parallel Chancery Division proceedings. He has often been involved in cases involving third party ownership, intervenors and complicated issues of property and chancery law.
News & Resources
Poshteh v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea  has re-visited the issue of whether the homelessness provisions in the Housing Act 1996 create a ‘civil right’ which engages article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.23rd May 2017 Read more
It has just been announced that Bovis Homes Group Plc has set aside £7m to compensate homebuyers for defects in their homes.21st February 2017 Read more
David Sawtell has an article in the 21st January 2017 issue of the Estates Gazette concerning landlords’ options in respect of new protected commercial tenancy applications.26th January 2017 Read more
Can an almsperson claim security of tenure over their home?18th January 2017 Read more
This case considered the vexed relationship between section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, which requires a contract for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land to be in writing, and the preservation in section 2(5) of ‘resulting, implied or constructive trusts’.12th December 2016 Read more
When a court is considering a tenant’s application for a grant of a new tenancy or a landlord’s opposition to the grant of such a tenancy under the provisions of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, it is often deciding what terms will govern the future rather than considering what has happened in the past.8th December 2016 Read more
The Deloitte Office Crane Survey for Winter 2016 makes for some very interesting post-Brexit reading. Construction momentum in London has slowed, with 40 new schemes starting over the past six months, compared with 51 in the previous survey.21st November 2016 Read more
The news that a third runway has been approved for Heathrow has triggered renewed debate about the merits of the scheme and at least one West London by-election.27th October 2016 Read more
When carrying out construction works to a building with existing tenants, the landlord must be very careful not to breach the covenant for quiet enjoyment of the premises.31st August 2016 Read more
David Sawtell and Erol Topal consider the Supreme Court decision on the application of article 8 to private sector lettings (Solicitors Journal article)12th July 2016 Read more
On 15 June 2016 the Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated decision in McDonald (by her litigation friend Duncan J McDonald) v McDonald and others  UKSC 2816th June 2016 Read more
The way in which the built environment is constructed and facilities are managed is changing. We need to make sure our contracts, enquiries and legal services keep up.7th June 2016 Read more
We are delighted to welcome David Sawtell to Chambers today.9th March 2016 Read more