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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7568
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Commercial tenant without a written lease. We have a tenant

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Commercial tenant without a written lease.
We have a tenant who does not have a current written lease that we wish to evict due to non-payment. He has expressed that he has 'frozen' rental payments until another (non-property) matter dispute has been resolved (essentially he is claiming back pay from a company that I own). I inherited this tenant from the previous landlord however could not get him to sign a new lease and so we agreed to keep the terms of the previous lease with the previous landlord (which I have a copy of). The tenant is now 3 months in arrears, what options do we have? We'd ideally like to evict and recover the unpaid rent. The property itself is a building yard with a number of shipping containers on it. The previous lease was signed in 2010.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 months ago.

Hi

Does the previous lease contain a forfeiture clause?

Tom

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
It includes a right of re-entry clause. Am I right in assuming this is tantamount to the same thing?
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 months ago.

Hi

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.

Please kindly remember to leave feedback using the stars at the top of the page.

Kind regards

Tom

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks Tom,
Can you please elaborate on '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.'And if it is a periodic tenancy, is there a specific type of notice we need to serve?
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 months ago.

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.

Please remember to leave feedback using the stars at the top of the page.

Tom

Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7568
Experience: UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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