The rules regarding forfeiture of a lease are not straightfoward

By Patricia Mellody

When a tenant has fallen into arrears of monies due under a lease, its landlord needs to navigate through the complexities of the law to ascertain whether forfeiture is available as a remedy.

Questions arising include: Has the right to forfeit arisen? Does a Section 146 Notice need to be served? Have adequate steps been taken to ensure there has been no waiver of the right to forfeit? Where the premises are residential, has the landlord obtained a court order?

Tenants of commercial premises do not want to lose profits from an inability to occupy and trade from the property — so forfeiture can be a cheap and powerful way of shocking a tenant into finding the cash to pay outstanding sums due…

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