Does the previous lease contain a forfeiture clause?
Thanks for your patience.
Yes, it will likely be the same thing. The Clause should state the conditions under which you are entitled to exercise your right of reentry or forfeiture.
Usually this includes the right to re enter the premises and take possession in the event that rent is unpaid for a period of 21 days after the date that it has Fallen due. So, this would give you the right to enter property and change the locks.
However tenants can apply to court for relief from forfeiture where they can show they can pay the rent arrears or if other exceptional circumstances apply.
If the tenants previous lease was excluded from the security of tenure provisions of the landlord and Tenant Act 1954 then they will be regarded as occupying the property under a periodic tenancy. This means that their lease will continue from one rent period (monthly, weekly, quarterly, whichever it is) to the next.
In these circumstances you could simply give the tenant one rent period's notice of eviction and then could change the locks on this basis and so you may consider taking this action coupled with an action to re enter the property on the basis of non payment of rent as well.
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If the tenants original lease contains a right to renew the lease at the end of the term then they may still be able to apply to court for a new lease to be granted to them.
You may therefore find that if the tenant does have this right in their original lease and you attempted to evict them then they may apply for a new lease. There are a number of grounds on which you can attempt to argue that a court should refuse the Grant of this new lease. However this is a very complicated area and if you are unsure whether the tenant has a right to renew in their original lease then you should seek specific legal advice from a solicitor in person.
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