Q&As

Can a forfeiture action include a claim for recovery of damages for loss of future rents? If a tenant stops paying rent and is happy for the lease to be forfeited, if forfeiting can the landlord also sue for damages for breach of contract and for loss of future rent payments?

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Produced in partnership with Elizabeth England
Published on LexisPSL on 24/05/2017

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Elizabeth England provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a forfeiture action include a claim for recovery of damages for loss of future rents? If a tenant stops paying rent and is happy for the lease to be forfeited, if forfeiting can the landlord also sue for damages for breach of contract and for loss of future rent payments?
  • Can a forfeiture action include a claim for recovery of damages for loss of future rents?
  • If a tenant stops paying rent and is happy for the lease to be forfeited, if forfeiting can the landlord also sue for damages for breach of contract and for loss of future rent payments?

Can a forfeiture action include a claim for recovery of damages for loss of future rents? If a tenant stops paying rent and is happy for the lease to be forfeited, if forfeiting can the landlord also sue for damages for breach of contract and for loss of future rent payments?

We have focused on residential leases for the purposes of this Q&A.

Almost every lease of a residential flat will contain a provision within it which allows the landlord to enter and regain possession in the event of a breach of covenant.

This right is usually relied on in the case of long leases (over 21 years in duration). From the expression in the question that the tenant is happy for the lease to be forfeit, it is likely that the context of this question is a short lease, or assured shorthold tenancy (AST). It is very unlikely the case that a long leaseholder who has paid a premium comparable to the purchase of the freehold would be content to forfeit his interest.

This answer assumes that the tenant is an AST. The reason why we do not generally consider forfeiture in these cases is that the law imports statutory protection on tenants in the Housing Act 1988 and the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. There are only three ways to end the tenancy: the tenant

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