Q&As

Where a residential lease is forfeited by court proceedings but the tenant later pays all outstanding sums and the landlord agrees to the lease being reinstated, what is the appropriate procedure to achieve this?

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Produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins
Published on LexisPSL on 04/11/2020

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Kate Andrews of Hamlins provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a residential lease is forfeited by court proceedings but the tenant later pays all outstanding sums and the landlord agrees to the lease being reinstated, what is the appropriate procedure to achieve this?
  • Relief from forfeiture
  • Is a court order necessary to agree relief from forfeiture?

Once forfeiture has been effected by proceedings, the lease terminates and the landlord and tenant do not have any continuing liabilities under it (although they remain liable for any breaches which occurred prior to the forfeiture). The tenancy and all interests derived from it, such as sub-tenancies and mortgages, are brought to an end and the landlord is immediately entitled to possession, subject to the tenant’s right to claim relief, or indeed any other third parties who have the right to do so.

Forfeiture terminates the lease and therefore the landlord cannot choose to subsequently treat the lease as continuing (Jones v Carter).

Relief from forfeiture

Only the court has the ability to reinstate the original lease by granting the tenant relief from forfeiture for the unpaid rent. If the landlord’s act

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