Q&As

Would a landlord, who wishes to forfeit a commercial lease for failure to pay rent by peaceable re-entry and then let it to a new tenant, face any consequences if the former tenant was granted relief from forfeiture: who in these circumstances would be entitled to possession—the old tenant or the new one? If the former, would the landlord be in breach of their title guarantee?

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Produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne of 42 Bedford Row
Published on LexisPSL on 02/03/2016

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne of 42 Bedford Row provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Would a landlord, who wishes to forfeit a commercial lease for failure to pay rent by peaceable re-entry and then let it to a new tenant, face any consequences if the former tenant was granted relief from forfeiture: who in these circumstances would be entitled to possession—the old tenant or the new one? If the former, would the landlord be in breach of their title guarantee?

This Q&A looks at the situation where a landlord wishes to forfeit a commercial lease for failure to pay rent by peaceable re-entry and let to a new tenant if the former tenant is granted relief from forfeiture.

If a landlord forfeits due to rent arrears, as a general rule (where re-entry is peaceable, and, whether relief is sought in the county courts or High Court), the former tenant should apply for relief without delay and within six months of the date on which the landlord recovers possession. For the detailed rules see Practice Note: Claiming relief from forfeiture when breach is rent arrears. The grant of such relief is discretionary and turns on the Court’s consideration of various factors, see Practice Note: Claiming relief from forfeiture when breach is rent arrears.

In particular, the Court may, in the exercise of its discretion, properly refuse relief from forfeiture even to a tenant who belatedly tenders the full amount of outstanding rent and costs if, during the interim period,

  1. the landlord has, not unreasonably or precipitously, granted rights in the premises to third parties, on the footing that the original lease is at an end, and

  2. the Court considers that, in all the circumstances, the grant of relief

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