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Forfeiture - potential pitfalls you need to be aware of

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Forfeiture provides the right for a landlord to enter the property let to the tenant and reclaim ownership prior to the contractual termination of the lease due to the tenants default. It is arguably a draconian measure and one which the Law Commission has looked into revising although at the time of writing no measures have been put in place to supersede this right of action.

It is important that the obligations necessary to be entitled to take forfeiture action have been complied with and that no action has been taken which waives the right to forfeiture.

In particular it is imperative to note the substantial differences that exist between residential long leases and commercial properties. You need to be aware that when a property has mixed use it is treated as a residential tenancy rather than a comparison being made with a commercial lease.

David Richards, Senior Associate in Brethertons Defended Litigation Team has written a white paper which sets out the considerations you need to have when weighing up if forfeiture may be an appropriate way forward for the landlord.

The contents of the white paper, covers:

  • Forfeiture – potential pitfalls you need to be aware of
  • Forfeiture
  • Is there a right to forfeit?
  • The differences between commercial leases and residential/mixed use leases?
  • Commercial leases
  • In residential and mixed use forfeiture
  • Non-payment of rent: residential lease
  • A further legislative requirement in respect of establishing a right to forfeit
  • Non-payment of service charge: residential lease
  • Other breaches
  • When does forfeiture take place?
  • Peaceable re-entry
  • Court proceedings
  • Third party interests
  • The tenant’s response
  • When can the tenants or interested third party make an application
  • Peaceable re-entry
  • Court proceedings
  • Aftermath of forfeiture
  • Fixtures
  • Chattels
  • Waiver
  • In continuing all once and for all breaches
  • Once and for all breaches
  • Continuing breaches
  • Breaches of user covenants

The white paper, entitled: ‘Forfeiture – potential pitfalls you need to be aware of’ is being released on 20 June 2019. If you would like to receive your free copy, email with your name, company and email address. We will subscribe you to our property management email subscription list, but you may unsubscribe at any time. For more details on how Brethertons LLP will protect and process your personal data view our Privacy Policy.