Forfeiture of a lease

The following Property Disputes practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Forfeiture of a lease
  • When can a landlord exercise the right to forfeit a lease?
  • Procedural considerations before forfeiting
  • Practical considerations before forfeiting
  • Waiver
  • Waiver—acceptance of rent/demanding rent
  • Effect of waiver—once and for all and continuing breaches
  • Forfeiting for non-payment of rent
  • Forfeiting for other breaches—s 146 notice
  • Breach of a repairing covenant
  • More...

Forfeiture of a lease

Coronavirus (COVID-19): During the current pandemic, legislation and changes to practice and procedure in the courts and tribunals have been introduced, which affect the following:

  1. proceedings for possession

  2. forfeiture of business leases on the grounds of non-payment of rent

  3. a landlord's right to exercise Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and enforcement agents taking control of goods

  4. service of various notices to recover possession of residential properties

  5. practice and procedure in the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) and Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)

  6. insolvency legislation of both a permanent and temporary nature

For further information and guidance, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for property.

When can a landlord exercise the right to forfeit a lease?

Forfeiture is a landlord’s right to bring a lease to an end as a result of a tenant’s breach. A landlord may only end the tenancy agreement by forfeiture if there:

  1. is an express right in the lease, ie the tenancy agreement contains a forfeiture clause which allows the landlord to forfeit in respect of the tenant's alleged breach. For example, the lease may provide that the landlord is entitled to forfeit the lease for failure to pay rent within 14 or 21 days of the due date, or on the occurrence of a specific event detailed in the lease (for example any type of insolvency specified as an event giving rise to

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