Forfeiture

From a landlord's perspective, if a tenant breaches a tenancy covenant or fails to pay rent, most feel they should have the right to re-enter the property and end the tenancy in order to protect their interests. 

A forfeiture clause, which is contained in almost every private and commercial lease, provides the legal ability to do just that.

At Judge and Priestley, we will ensure that if you do choose to exercise your right of forfeiture, you follow the correct procedure, thus avoiding any financial or reputation repercussions.

There are two reasons a landlord may exercise his or her right to forfeit a lease:

  • Breach of the covenant to pay rent
  • The issuing of a Section 146 notice for the breach of any other covenant aside from non-payment of rent

Forfeiture of Residential Leases

Due to the effects of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, a landlord must exercise his or her right to forfeiture by issuing court proceedings.  Any attempt at physical re-entry is likely to constitute a criminal offence.  Our experienced property solicitors can organise a court order for you and ensure that the proper procedure is carried out, allowing you to reclaim your property in a cost-effective and legal manner.

Forfeiture of Commercial Leases

Although most commercial leases contain a clause entitling the landlord to make a peaceable re-entry in the case of rent arrears, the safest option you can take as a landlord is to obtain legal advice and a court order.  The order is known as a Section 146 Notice (and is the only way to forfeit a lease for any other reason other than non-payment of rent).  

Contents of a Section 146 Notice

A Section 146 Notice must contain the following:

  • How the tenant has breached their lease
  • Ways to remedy the breach
  • The time limit for remedying the breach
  • Any demands for compensation

Your solicitor at Judge & Priestley will take you through this process step by step and ensure that the time limits for remedy and requirements for compensation adequately cover and protect your best interests.

If you are seeking advice on your right to forfeit a residential or commercial lease then please fill in our contact form and we will come back to you as soon as possible.  Alternatively, phone our office to make an appointment on 020 8290 0333.