Legal advice for landlords and tenants regarding forfeiture

It is essential, whether you are a landlord or tenant, to understand the remedies that are available to a landlord if a tenant is in breach of their lease. Forfeiture, which is a legal remedy that is only available to landlords, is a way of ending a lease when a tenant is in breach of it.

There are lots of pitfalls for landlords to avoid when it comes to forfeiture and if they get the process wrong, it can very expensive. For example, it is very easy to waive the right to forfeit the lease. To avoid this, it is important to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

How our property dispute solicitors can assist with forfeiture

At Nelsons, we have an expert team of property dispute solicitors in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham who can provide focused, strategic advice to landlords as to how to deal with a tenant whom in breach of their lease. We can also advise tenants who anticipate that they are about to breach their lease and the possible consequences.

You can rely on our solicitors to give focused, commercial and pragmatic advice as forfeiture is sometimes not the best option, not least because a landlord can be left with empty premises and a liability to pay rates. Additionally, landlords should bear in mind that when forfeiting a lease for rent arrears that the tenant, in most circumstances, has six months to apply for relief from forfeiture.

Our team, which is recommended by the independently-researched, Legal 500, has many years’ experience of the laws associated with forfeiture and have assisted landlords countless times to go through the process smoothly. Equally, we have advised tenants, when faced with forfeiture, to get possession of their premises back.

When considering forfeiture, the first thing to do is to check to see if your lease has a clause allowing forfeiture for the breach complained of. If the breach is for rent arrears then normally a tenant has a period of time (“the grace period”) to pay after the due date for the rent.

With other breaches, a landlord has to serve a notice signalling its intention to forfeit the lease if the breach is not remedied. This is an important notice and must be correctly worded to be effective. Our team can draft and serve this notice for you at a fixed price.

For further information on how our expert team of property dispute solicitors can provide assistance, please contact us on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form.

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  • "Nelsons Solicitors Limited's team, which is based in Nottingham and Derby, has particular expertise in commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes, planning law cases and breach of contract disputes. Simon Waterfield has vast experience of landlord and tenant disputes, including those concerning forfeiture, dilapidations and contested rent review applications. He also has niche expertise in flooding disputes. 'Friendly and professional' associate Oliver Maxwell is particularly active in commercial landlord and tenant matters, easement disputes and claims involving the interpretation and enforcement of overage agreements."

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  • "Nelsons' approach is always commercial, and you are always left with the feeling that its team is giving you the right advice, rather than the advice that feathers its own nest."

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