Forfeiture of a Commercial Lease

You have a number of options to remove a tenant from your commercial property but you should be aware that you can only forfeit a lease if there has been a breach of the lease by your tenant and if you have a clause in the lease to allow you to do so. This clause needs to state the exact terms of the forfeiture and if you want to forfeit a lease you must ensure that these terms are met before doing so.

You have two ways that you can forfeit a commercial lease, but you may want to try to resolve the issues with your tenant first to try to avoid having to take any action as this can be time consuming and stressful for you.

If your tenant has breached their lease by non-payment of rent, you could decide to offer them a rent-free period or even allow them to pay off their arrears via a payment plan but if not you can actually take action against your tenant immediately and you need not wait or give any notice. Be careful to be sure that your tenant is not insolvent as you may not be able to take action in these circumstances.

Your first option is peaceable re-entry and your second option is to start court proceedings. There are advantages and drawbacks to both of these options.

Peaceable Re-entry

This is a good way to seek resolution without the need to go to court. Most landlords will attempt re-entry at a time when they know that no one is at the premises as you have to be very careful that there is no violence or anyone opposing the re-entry. Therefore this often happens at night or early in the morning. Once you have re-entered your premises, you should change the locks and leave a notice where your tenants can access it so they are informed of what has happened.

This will allow you to obtain possession and re-let your property again as soon as possible without waiting for a court order.

Court Orders

You will need to issue a Section 146 Notice that details how the tenant has breached the lease and how the tenant can resolve the issues. If there is no way to resolve the breach, then the notice is effective immediately. Where the court grants a possession order, your tenant has 28 days to leave the property.

This is a far safer way of evicting a tenant, but it does cost more and take longer to execute.

If you have an issue with a commercial lease and you would like to discuss your options, please contact us today. You can call us on 020 7490 5861 or email us at and we will be in touch soon.