Commercial Forfeiture of Lease

One of the remedies available to a landlord for tenants who are in arrears is forfeiture. The right to forfeit is a solution for landlords which brings a lease to an end following a tenant’s default on rent payment.

In today’s economic climate some tenants are struggling to meet their rental payments. This often leaves landlords in a difficult situation, unsure of their rights and keen to secure an ongoing rental income.

A commercial landlord has the right to forfeit a lease where a tenant is in breach of a covenant.

Establishing and enforcing this right is often not straightforward, therefore, it is vital that you seek professional advice from one of our experienced commercial property solicitors.

Free Initial Telephone Discussion

Contact us today for more information about our commercial forfeiture service and how we can help. Simply call us on 0345 901 0445 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back as soon as possible.

What is forfeiture?

A clause in the lease is necessary to enable the landlord to forfeit or re-enter the premises under certain specific circumstances, such as non-payment of rent.

How do I enforce forfeiture?

The landlord must communicate a clear intention to bring the lease to an end.

With commercial premises, there are two options available to landlords when exercising a right of forfeiture and intention to terminate the lease:

  • Peaceable re-entry
  • Issuing court proceedings

Peaceable re-entry is only available in the case of a breach of the covenant to pay rent and is the act of re-entering and securing the premises. This is commonly enforced by a certified bailiff who attends with a locksmith to change the locks and affix notices to the premises, letting the tenant know that the lease has been ended.

All other claims for forfeiture for breaches of covenant must be pursued through the courts following service of any appropriate notices.

Speak to our team today and they will explain the process and the options available to you.

Can I change my mind?

Forfeiture is irreversible and ends the lease agreement. If the tenant does not want the property back, you will be left with a vacant property. You should therefore carefully consider whether forfeiture is the right solution.

Am I guaranteed to get the property back?

Unfortunately, forfeiture is not a guarantee. A tenant, sub-tenant and mortgagee could apply to the court for relief from forfeiture, either in response to a landlord’s claim or by bringing a standalone claim of their own.

If successful, the lease may have to be re-instated or the court may order relief on certain conditions.


The right of forfeiture, whilst a common and useful solution, is a complex area of law. It is, therefore, vital that you obtain specialist legal advice at the early stages.

How We Can Help

We understand that forfeiture can be stressful. Using our experience and wealth of knowledge, we can offer expert advice on all commercial landlord issues based on your individual requirements.

How to Contact our Commercial Property Solicitors

To speak to our Commercial Forfeiture team today, simply call us on 0345 901 0445, or allow a member of the team to get back to you by filling in our online contact form.

We are well known across the country and can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices based in Cheshire and London.



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