When you are the owner of a commercial property in London, the tenants will sometimes give you cause to evict them, to take back your property, especially when they flout their lease or tenancy agreement; some of the reasons for evicting a tenant are not paying rent, not maintaining the London premises, being a source of annoyance to neighbours, or transferring or renting the premises without your consent.
When a tenant is occupying your property in London, and you evict them to take possession, it is called 'forfeiture'.
But a tenant can only forfeit a lease if there is a clause in that lease agreement that states it clearly.
As a landlord, make sure you have this specific forfeiture clause in your commercial leases in Greater London, as without it, you limit your capacity to act as a property owner.
If you have the right to forfeit in London, you can exercise this power in two ways:
Peaceable re-entry in London
This is the case where you gain entrance into the building in Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, or Islington and change the locks.
Doing so is a high risk to take as your tenant could go to court in Greater London to ask for a "relief from forfeiture" and if the court grants their prayers, regain possession in London and request for compensation for damages for evicting them wrongly.
Applying to the court for possession in London
This is the best option in London, but like all court proceedings usually takes a long time and could cost you a lot of money, so, use this method as a last choice.
In most cases, the choice you make depends on why you want to take back possession of your premises.
If a tenant is unable to pay rent or fails to pay in London, the landlord does not need to give notice of the plan to ask the tenant to forfeit the lease; you may enter the premises and take possession.
You must not cause the continuance of the contract in London by reminding the tenant of unpaid rent, if you do so, it means that you have waived your right to forfeit, and you must wait until the tenant fails to pay rent in the future to act.
You must take a witness such as your solicitor or a locksmith with you when you go to the premises to leave a notice of repossession on the door of the building in Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, or Islington.
If your tenant breaches other terms of the lease agreement, you must first serve them with a section 146 notice before you can repossess the premises in London.
Make sure your solicitor serves all relevant parties in the matter in Greater London, such as the tenant, any mortgagee, and a subtenant if there is any.
The notice must state the type of breach the tenant committed in London and if it needs a remedy in a few days or payment of damages.
If the tenant fails to meet the terms for mitigating the breach, then you can go ahead and forfeit the lease.
More rules guide a case where the property owner serves the tenant with notice of repair violations in London.
In some situations, you must allow the tenant in Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, or Islington the right to claim statutory protection.
If your tenant in London claims this legal provision, they must do so within 28 days upon receiving a section 146 notice and the landlord must ask for the go ahead of Greater London court in preliminary action before taking any more steps in the matter.
But the property owner can avoid this if the lease agreement has a clause that allows the property in London to regain possession and to claim any costs made to repair the property from the tenant as a debt they must pay.
The court hearing for forfeiture usually begins from the Greater London county court with an application for possession.
The procedures involve filling and submitting a typical claims form in London to court where online can be acceptable by your local court.
However, the Landlord must serve his tenants in London this claim through his solicitors in each time frame.
A property owner should seek legal counsel because it is a complicated process that could cost you a lot of money and cause a delay in the repossession of your property in Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, or Islington if you make a mistake.
Your tenant can seek relief from forfeiture from a Greater London court if they can meet specific conditions.
Note that this remedy is at the discretion of the court as the tenant does not have guaranteed rights, however, if the court rules in their favour, they will continue to stay on the premises in London using the previous lease agreement.
If a property owner serves the tenant in London with a section 146 notice, you should quickly proceed to apply to overturn the eviction notice to avoid the court ruling against you for needless delays.
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