Commercial Property – Relief From Forfeiture of Lease

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Landlord and Tenant Law in respect of Residential Property and Commercial Property is conducted within a complex framework of rules setting down law and procedure. Our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers have an impressive track record in dealing with a broad range of Residential and Commercial Property cases

Our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barrister advise both landlords and tenants in relation to agreements for lease (including pre-lets), leases, re-gearing of leases, lease renewals, assignments, authorised guarantee agreements, licences, rent deposits and surrenders.

Our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers can provide you with immediate advice upon a full range of property matters and represent you in Court at short notice if required.

When can a Landlord forfeit a lease?

If a tenant does not comply with the tenant covenants in the lease, the landlord may be able to forfeit the lease i.e. remove the tenant, which allows the landlord to let the premises to someone else. Landlords can forfeit a lease on a number of grounds including the tenant’s failure to pay rent and the breach of covenants. 

Rent Arrears 

Landlords have the right to bring a lease to an end if the tenant breached the terms of the lease by failing to pay rent. Forfeiture of lease on this ground is only available if there is an express forfeiture clause in the lease and the conditions are met.

The landlord may only issue proceedings in debt to recover rent that has fallen due in the six year period prior to the issue of those proceedings (s.19 Limitation Act 1980). Any earlier outstanding rent is irrecoverable.

However, Where the landlord has issued forfeiture proceedings in the County Court, the tenant has a right to automatic relief from forfeiture if he pays all arrears, interest and costs into court not less than 5 clear days before the first hearing.

Other breaches 

Landlords have the right to forfeit the lease if the tenant breached any clauses in the lease. Again, the lease must be checked to ensure that the right of forfeiture arises for the breach of covenant in question and if it does, then a s.146 (Land Property Act 1925) Notice must be served on the tenant. 

Relief from forfeiture for nonpayment of rent

The tenant must apply to the court for relief of forfeiture and have the lease reinstated. The court has discretion to grant or withhold relief, which is generally exercised in favour of the tenant if the tenant acts quickly, and pay the arrears. The result is the parties will be put back in a position they would have been in had the forfeiture never take place.

If the landlord has forfeited by peaceable re-entry, the tenant may apply to the County Court for relief from forfeiture within 6 months of the re-entry. The application will be considered by the court and the court will make an order for relief if it sees fit.

The Court will ensure that payment of the rent arrears is a condition of the granting of relief from forfeiture. It will typically also require the tenant to pay the landlord’s costs.

Relief from forfeiture for breach of lease (other than non-payment of rent)

Before exercising the right to forfeiture for breach of lease clauses (but never for breach of covenant to pay rent), a section 146 Notice must be served on the tenant.

The notice served on the tenant by the landlord must:

In response, the tenant can apply to the court under s.146(2) LPA 1925 for relief against forfeiture i.e. to have the lease reinstated.

The decision as to whether relief should be granted is at the discretion of the court. In general, courts will grant relief if the tenant remedies the breach, pays compensation, or if the breach cannot be remedied but the court is convinced that the tenant will adhere to the lease in the future.

Why Instruct OneLaw Chambers for your Landlord and Tenant Case?

At OneLaw Chambers, our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist with many contentious and non-contentious landlord and tenant cases. We have assisted and represented many clients from all over the world achieving successful outcomes for them.

OneLaw Chambers has defended the interests of successful individuals, businesses and brands for many years, pursuing matters swiftly and robustly where necessary. With a dedicated team of Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers, OneLaw has an established property practice acting in complex residential and commercial property transactions.

Our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers fiercely and tenaciously represent you in putting forward the strongest possible case, ensuring that you are always satisfied with the manner in which we represent you and that a successful outcome is achieved in your case without significant cost and expense to you.

We are committed to ensuring that our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers prepare every landlord and tenant case with utmost quality and skill so that successful outcome is achieved every time. Our Landlord and Tenant Solicitors and Barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire landlord and tenant case process.


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