As a landlord of commercial property in Kent, there are many grounds why you may want to take back custody of your premises, the most prominent being where the tenant is in default of their conditions of lease; such as not paying rent, not maintaining the Kent premises in good repair, being a hazard to neighbours or transferring or subordinating the premises without your permission.
Regaining property possession in Kent when a tenant still occupies the premises is otherwise known as forfeiture.
However, you can only forfeit the lease if there is a specific clause permitting you to do so.
It's recommended that all leases of commercial property in Kent include a forfeit clause because without one, your powers as the landlord are extremely limited.
Kent property owners bear forfeiture rights and they may execute it in the following ways:
In this scenario, you replace all the locks at the property in Gillingham, Chatham, or Maidstone.
However, this is a risky move, as the tenant may apply to the Kent court for a 'relief from forfeiture' and if this has been found to be true, then the tenant will regain possession of the property in Kent and receive compensation for a problem that occurred during the process.
This is the most favourable way in Kent, even though the proceedings take undue time and are costly, but this route is advised as the last resort.
Usually, the often chosen will depend on the reason for forfeiting the tenant.
You don't have to issue any notice of your plans to forfeit for non-payment of rent in Kent simply because you can re-enter the property.
You must not acknowledge the continuance of the tenancy in Kent by discussing overdue rent, as this can result in withdrawing your forfeiture rights and you have to hold off until the next rent payment is missed.
As a precaution, always leave a notice of repossession on the premises' door in Chatham, Gillingham, or Maidstone and be accompanied to the property by your solicitor or a locksmith as a witness.
If there are other breaches aside from the ones listed above, serve a Section 146 notice first before repossessing the Kent property.
Your solicitor has to serve the notice to all parties involved such as any subtenant, any mortgagee and the tenant in Kent.
The specific nature of the breach in Kent must be specified in the notice and it should also indicate whether payment of compensation is necessary.
The landlord can only proceed with the forfeiture of the lease if the breach wasn't remedied at the given time.
Additional rulings in Kent are applied to notices that involve breaches in the failing to maintain property conditions.
In certain situations, the landlord may be required to provide the tenant in Maidstone, Chatham, or Gillingham with statutory protection.
If your Kent tenant demands this statutory protection, which has to be done in 28 days after getting a section 146 notice, the landlord will have to seek a preliminary claim for permission from Kent court prior to taking any further actions.
This can be avoided by the landlord if there is a clause in the lease pertaining to the permission to enter the premise in Kent in order to correct defects in repair and subsequently claim the incurred costs as debt from the occupier.
If you want to carry out forfeiture, you must make an application for possession in the Kent county court to start the court procedure.
There are standard claim forms that must be filled, which in Kent can now be submitted online in some courts.
The claim forms must then be sent to the Kent occupant, mostly by your lawyer, within a severe timeframe.
This is a complex area of law, and any mistakes can delay your repossession in Gillingham, Maidstone, or Chatham and be costly, so you need to take legal advice.
For forfeiture, an application can be made in court in Kent assuming particular conditions are met.
This is the only remedy available from the court to the tenant although, it is not an automatic right of the tenant, in case they are granted this right they can be able to continue the occupation of the Kent premises under the same existing lease.
As soon as the section 146 notice is delivered, the tenant in Kent needs to make an application to the court because if they delayed the application unnecessarily, they will be penalized.
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