Forfeiture of a lease
Forfeiture of a lease

The following Property Disputes guidance 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
  • Forfeiture for other breaches—section 146 notice
  • Forfeiting for other breaches—remediable or irremediable
  • more

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 the right to forfeiture), or for any other breach of tenant covenant. By way of example, see our Precedent: Lease of whole building, or

  2. has been a breach by the tenant of an express or implied condition, ie a term of the lease which is so fundamental to that lease that a breach of it is treated as a breach for which the landlord may forfeit, regardless of whether the lease contains an express forfeiture clause. Whether or not the term is a condition will depend upon the intentions of the parties in all of