The owners of the London Eye are seeking a judicial review at the High Court over a proposed rent increase.
The Eye has proved to be a huge hit with tourists
The South Bank Centre (SBC), which owns some of the land on which the wheel stands, is rumoured to be demanding a hike from £65,000 to £1m-a-year.
On Tuesday the London Eye said it had started legal proceedings to end any uncertainty over the wheel's future.
Michael Lynch SBC chief executive, said despite their best efforts they had been "unable to agree terms".
"It is a matter of considerable disappointment that British Airways London Eye (Bale) is focusing its attention on instituting legal proceedings."
Mr Lynch said they had been advised the action was "completely groundless and would create still further delays and considerable unnecessary expense".
Bosses at the London Eye said it was "keen to continue negotiations and ....agree a fair commercial rent as soon as possible".
But claimed it had instigated the judicial review "because the South Bank Centre has still not withdrawn their eviction notice of 14 December 2004".
Rumours the Eye would face eviction were dismissed earlier this year but negotiations have failed to reach an agreement.
The SBC which owns some of the land on which the Eye's support structure stands, has denied it planned to raise the rent to £1m a year.