Commercial property has fewer protections for the tenant against possession by the landlord when the rent is in arrears. This means that in some cases it is permissible and desirable for the landlord to gain possession and forfeit the lease without the need for a court order. As always great care must be taken in making sure that you are correct about the rent arrears and that you follow the correct procedures. Before instructing a bailiff you should check the rent statement carefully, you should make sure that rent has been demanded in accordance with the lease and legislation and that you have not waived your right to forfeit. If you forfeit incorrectly you may be subject to a claim for relief from forfeiture and liable for the tenant’s legal costs. The tenant may claim relief from forfeiture even if the landlord has done nothing wrong and the court may grant that relief on the condition that the tenant pays the arrears plus the landlord’s legal costs.
Seizing the tenants goods to pay the rent arrears
A landlord may not wish to forfeit the lease and instead they may want to ask a bailiff to enter the premises and take and sell goods to satisfy the rent arrears. Again care must be taken and special rules followed. Landlords should also be aware that exercising this right will waive the right to forfeit for that rent arrears.