Q&As

What effect does forfeiture have on the following: breaches of covenant and losses that may be due on foot of such breaches? Outstanding Service Charge? Dilapidations obligations?

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Published on LexisPSL on 31/05/2017

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What effect does forfeiture have on the following: breaches of covenant and losses that may be due on foot of such breaches? Outstanding Service Charge? Dilapidations obligations?
  • Effect of forfeiture
  • Relief from forfeiture
  • Breach of covenant to pay rent
  • Breach of other covenants

In answering this Q&A, it has been assumed it refers to a lease of commercial premises.

As you will be aware, forfeiture entitles a landlord to end a fixed-term tenancy on account of a breach by the tenant. It is a remedy exclusively open to a landlord. Further, regardless of the way in which the right to forfeit is exercised (eg by actual re-entry by the landlord or by court proceedings), it is the landlord who effects the forfeiture.

For general information on forfeiture, see Practice Note: Forfeiture of a lease.

Effect of forfeiture

With regard to breaches which have already accrued up to the point of forfeiture, any claims pursuant to the tenancy agreement which had accrued before the forfeiture are unaffected by the determination thereof. See the commentary in: The effect of forfeiture and the twilight period: Hill and Redman’s Law of Landlord and Tenant [4887]. For example, the commentary notes that where rent is payable in advance, it is payable in full without apportionment, notwithstanding that forfeiture was effected part of the way through the period in respect of which rent is payable. The tenant may also be liable to the landlord in tort for any deterioration of the property between the date of forfeiture and the date of recovering possession.

There is also a summary of the effect of forfeiture in: Forfeiture: Jordan Publishing Property

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