Commercial Tenant Eviction


FAQs

The Landlord Group have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions together with answers regarding the fixed fee services that we offer.

How long will the process take?

We will aim for an attendance to be made at your property within 48 hours of your instruction. Since we cannot forcibly require any occupants to leave the premises, we will generally arrange for attendance outside usual trading hours. Once we have gained entry on your behalf we will arrange for the locks to all the doors to be changed, post the relevant notices and we will supply the keys to the nominated key holder. Please note that there will be an additional fee payable to the locksmith which we can arrange or you can arrange directly if you prefer.

How much will it cost?

The fees for The Landlord Group are fixed at £699 inclusive of VAT. The only additional fee payable relates to the locksmith fees which will vary depending upon the number and type of locks at the property. The Landlord Group have extremely competitive rates with many providers nationwide and will obtain a competitive quote for you to approve prior to finalising arrangements.

What happens on the day of the eviction?

Your attendance at the property is not required although you are welcome to attend the eviction if you would like to. Attendance will usually occur outside of trading hours, possession of the property will be taken back on your behalf by changing the locks and the appropriate notices will be left at the property confirming that the premises have been repossessed by the landlord. The property will be secured and the new keys will be returned to you as soon as possible. You are obliged by law to allow the tenant back into the property within a reasonable time following the forfeiture to remove any items from the property which belong to the tenant.

What happens if the tenant breaks back into the property?

It is both a criminal and civil offence for the tenant to re-enter the property once the lease has been forfeited by the landlord.

The tenant should be provided with an opportunity to access the property under the supervision of the landlord and/or the landlord’s agent in order for the tenant to remove their possessions. The Landlord Group can re-attend the property to provide supervised access if required. If the tenant fails to claim possession of the items left at the property you may need to store them for a period of time before you can sell or dispose of them.

The Landlord Group can also advise on long-term security requirements and the provision of screening and alarms if necessary. It is often worth considering extra security measures to secure the premises against re-entry by the tenant. If the premises are likely to remain unoccupied for any length of time, a landlord should also consider protecting the property against trespassers/squatters.

Are there any alternatives to forfeiting a commercial lease?

Rather than evict your commercial tenant and lose your tenant completely, you could use our Commercial Rent Arrears Services to recover the rent arrears. The Landlord Group can seize the tenant’s goods if payment of the rent is not made. Please note that both actions are not permitted legally to be taken together.

Can I forfeit a lease where no written lease exists?

Ordinarily you will only be able to forfeit a lease where there is a written lease in place with an appropriate ‘forfeiture clause’ which will allow termination and repossession under certain conditions.

In very limited circumstances you may be able to forfeit the lease by repossessing the premises where there is no written tenancy agreement in place. Please call our free solicitor advice line at The Landlord Group on tel: 01924 376 222 for further information.

Will my tenant be able to continue the lease if the rent arrears are paid following forfeiture of the lease?

The tenant does have a legal right to apply to the court to claim what is known as ‘relief from forfeiture’ anytime up to 6 months from the date of the forfeiture. In order to be successful with that application, the tenant will need to make an application to the Court, pay a court fee and pay all the rent arrears and the landlord’s costs for exercising forfeiture. In the event that relief from forfeiture is granted by the Court, the effect is as if the lease had never been forfeited and the lease will continue. Where the rent arrears are paid but the tenant does not make an application to the court claiming relief from forfeiture you can consider offering and documenting a new lease.

Have I waived my right to forfeit a commercial lease?

If a tenant is in breach of a covenant in its lease and the landlord accepts rent with knowledge of that breach, then the landlord may have waived its right to forfeit in respect of that breach.

To amount to a waiver, the rent must have (a) accrued since the landlord became aware of the forfeiture event; and (b) been offered and accepted as rent by the landlord.

If the landlord’s actions amount to the recognition of the continued existence of the lease and the landlord and tenant relationship there is a risk that the right to forfeit the lease for a particular period has been waived. This is a very complicated area of law and we would strongly suggest that you speak to one of our in-house solicitors at The Landlord Group on tel no: 01924 376 222.

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