how to repossess a commercial property

If you’re a commercial landlord, you might find yourself in a position where you want to repossess your premises and remove your current tenants. This could be for a number of reasons, usually because your tenant has breached their lease terms by either: not paying rent on time, not keeping the property in a good condition, being a nuisance to neighbours, or perhaps subletting without your consent.

Most modern commercial property leases give the landlord the right to terminate the lease when the tenant has breached their obligations. This is known as ‘Forfeiture’, a method of legally terminating a lease prior to the contractual termination date because of a breach in the terms by the tenant. This process concludes the contractual agreement, and the landlord’s obligations pursuant to the commercial lease. It is advisable for all commercial leases to contain such a clause as without it your powers as a landlord are severely restricted.

Forfeiture of Lease

In instances where a tenant has breached their contract and you have the right to forfeit the lease, this can be exercised in one of two ways: Peaceable re-entry or applying to the court for repossession.

Peaceable Re-entry

This involves you, or an enforcement company such as ourselves, entering the premises and changing the locks. It’s often seen as the most favorable option by landlords for obvious reasons: It is a much faster way to terminate a lease than through court proceedings; it has minimum expenses; it avoids the often unpredictability of the court, and it shifts the responsibility to the lessee to apply for relief. The most common way of effecting forfeiture by peaceable re-entry is by simply changing the locks and taking control of the property.

If you choose this approach, keep in mind that your tenant could apply to court for ‘relief from forfeiture’. This is where the tenant takes back possession and claims compensation for losses incurred as a result of wrongful eviction.

Forfeiture by peaceable re-entry is not available for any other breach other than non-payment of rent.

Speak to our team today to learn more about how we can assist you with peaceable re-entry of your commercial property.

Applying to the Court For Repossession

If you want to evict your commercial tenants for reasons other than non-payment of rent, you might want to issue court proceedings to repossess your property.

The act of commencing and serving possession proceedings on the lessee is sufficient evidence of the unequivocal election by the landlord to forfeit the lease. Upon the service of an issued claim form notional physical re-entry occurs. The act of the landlord must be unequivocal and has the effect of forfeiting the tenancy, in the same way, a peaceable re-entry.

If you aren’t sure what might be the best approach to repossess your commercial premises, get in touch with County Enforcement today.

County Enforcement

At County Enforcement we can help you repossess your commercial property through Forfeiture of Lease. Under the landlord’s authority, one of our agents will attend and repossess the property, display a tailored and compliant notice and ensure this is safely re-secured.

We also offer comprehensive access to range of post repossession services and approved third-party suppliers to resolve perceivable eventualities such as supervised access and management of abandoned goods, property security and legal disputes which may arise, and return your property to a re-lettable condition.

Get in touch with our team today to learn more.