Forfeiture is a landlord’s right to determine a lease when the tenant is in breach of the terms or when certain events happen as set out in the lease – e.g. the tenant’s becomes insolvent. You can forfeit in a number of circumstances, though typically the lease must expressly give the landlord the right to forfeit. There are some circumstances in which a right to forfeit can be implied into the lease, but in most leases there will be a specific clause. This clause will give the landlord the right to forfeit once the tenant has been in breach for a period of time – typically 14 days.
Where the right to forfeit has arisen, you must be careful not to do anything to waive that right.
Waiver occurs when the landlord:
- Knows of a breach in the lease
- Does something that recognises that the lease continues to exist
- Communicates that act to the tenant.
Effectively, you must decide whether to forfeit as soon as you’re aware of the breach, or do you treat the lease as continuing and therefore waive the right to forfeit? For example, a landlord cannot say that a lease has come to an end, if he does something that could only be done if the lease continued to exist. For example, demand or accept rent.
If the breach is non payment of rent then you usually do not require a Section 146 Notice. The common law remedy for landlord right of forfeiture is a very quick and effective solution without the need of making an application to a court.
RK9 offers a simple and easy process. On completion of our online Forfeiture instruction, we will promptly and peaceably enter the premises, change the locks and display the correct notices of forfeiture and torts if applicable.
With regard to goods left within a property, under torts (interference with goods) Act 1977 we are obliged to give notice to the tenant (usually 14 days) in which he can collect his goods at a time convenient to you. Alternatively, we can arrange for an Agent to attend to supervise the access.
It is a criminal offence for the tenant to break into your property. The Police can take criminal action against them. If you are concerned, we can arrange extra security measures to be put into place.
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