Can a landlord enter a commercial property to forfeit their lease?

Any time a lessee of a commercial property breaches the lease agreement (by not paying rent on time) the landlord has every right to forfeit the lease. In fact, the landlord can instruct a Certificated Enforcement Officer who is permitted by law to enter the property to prevent the Tenant from re-entering. For any other breach, the landlord will need to issue a Section 146.

If rent has not been paid for a specific period of time, this is usually written into the contract and typically 14 to 21 days, then the landlord is permitted to forfeit the lease. Most landlords consider this to be the easiest option to protect them from building up a large rent arrears, which may have a negative effect on the landlord himself.

Why the landlord should use enforcement Officers

Although a landlord has a right to peaceable entry whenever a tenant breaches the lease agreement, they should exercise caution to avoid potential claims for damages by the tenant. They need to ensure that every step they take, they play by the book, along with which, if the landlord using a Certificated Officer then this is a third party who has no axe to grind as it were.

One way to avoid lawsuits is to use enforcement Officer, Officers are experts in their field and understand how to go about the business of enforcing or forfeiting leases.

Forfeiture of a commercial lease has its fair share of legal complexities. That is why a landlord needs the services of enforcement Officers. Enforcement Officers understand all procedural issues and all the legal implications of any actions they take. If a landlord is not careful, they can easily lose their right to forfeiture.

Entry versus lawsuit

Re-entry is the easiest way to go about terminating a lease as compared to taking a tenant to court. In addition to saving on expenses, the landlord does not have to worry about the unpredictability of court proceedings. Once a landlord enters the premises, the onus is on the lessee to either request an extension or pay the money owed to the landlord.

How to enter the premises

The most common way of taking back control of a commercial property is by changing the locks. However, this is not permitted when there is someone in the property or any part of the property is classed as residential. The method for lease forfeiture is to wait for any time the lessee leaves the premises unoccupied, for instance at night or a weekend. That will give the landlord or the enforcement agent the opportunity to fit different locks and therefore prevent the tenant from further occupation of the premises.

Able Investigations are Enforcement Officers, or Bailiffs, working across the UK. Our team has a huge amount of experience in dealing with lease forfeiture and commercial tenants not paying rent. For help or more information call us on 0845 370 7401 or fill out our contact form.

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