In London, a landlord can again enter the property in question after the tenant's breach and get the lease terminated by using the rules of forfeit. Termination can either happen immediately or after a notice period in London which depends upon the landlord's reason to forfeit lease. First step for forfeiting a lease would be establishment by the landlord of basis of his right to forfeit. In most cases the method used is to take just one particular clause of the lease and rely on it that grants right to the landlord in London to forfeit under specific situations. In some circumstances, a particular clause being absent from the lease can lead to the landlord using his forfeiture right. The right gets exercised by itself if a condition present in the lease is breached by the tenant. It is important that legal advice be sought before exercising the right in order to be cautious so that it can be checked whether the conditions have actually been broken or not by the London-based tenant. The landlord in Islington, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Hammersmith and Fulham, or Tower Hamlets can possibly be in breach leading to a clear right to forfeit being absent even when the landlord attempts to forfeit lease. Hence, immediately after the breach takes place, one should ask for legal advice.
It should be confirmed first that that clause under consideration indeed means a breach, and that the landlord has complied with all preconditions to exercise this right. It is suggested to ask for additional advice in case of a situation of insolvency in London as there might be added obligations and/or requirements before forfeiture right can be used. Before forfeiting a lease, for example, the court's permission or administrator's consent is required if in London a corporate tenant is under administration. Before termination of the lease, a procedure of statutory notice has to be followed by the landlord in case right of forfeit has arisen. The tenant in London should be provided with a s146 notice so that they have the chance to correct the concerned breach unless the breach is regarding failure to pay rent. The notice should include the breach in question and if it is possible to correct it, it should be requested in the notice to remedy it and/or compensate through monetary payment. The right of forfeiture can be used in London by the landlord if even after the notice the tenant does not correct this breach within the time period stated and/or compensate through monetary payment.
Checking if the right of forfeiture exists or not involves several issues and hence it might not get determined immediately. So then, what is the landlord supposed to do if he thinks that a breach of the lease's terms has occurred by his tenant based in London making him entitled to forfeit the lease? It is crucial to note that the landlord's already existing rights are preserved in a possible forfeiture situation. It should be ensured that this right is not be taken away through any of the landlord's actions. As far as Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, and Hammersmith and Fulham are concerned, nothing should be done that would certify continuation of the lease. Till the time that the position has been considered completely, there should ideally be no contact between the landlord and the tenant or his representatives in London. If it is not possible to stop all communication between them, there should at least be minimal discussion about the breach and it should state to be 'without prejudice'. By using this term, such discussions can be limited in future but there is no guarantee. Other than that, it should be ensured by the landlord in London that there is no demand or acceptance of the sums and rent due under the conditions of the lease. The reason behind this is that if the landlord accepts any of these sums, he could be blamed that he is letting the lease continue and hence accepting earlier breaches made by the tenant.
What are the final concerns that the landlord should know if he thinks he has the forfeiture right and has conserved it? May be the main concern would be the process of regaining control of the premises in London. Peaceable re-entry' is one method but before using it, practical issues should be thought about. For example, would it be possible to just get the locks changed of the London premises when it is empty or is the property occupied by a commercial tenant mindful enough to keep people present there all the time? There is a risk of the landlord being accused of a crime if the locks are changed in the presence of a person and/or objects. Also, the landlord should know that he would be responsible for any objects in the premises after re-entry. Hence to avoid any blame by the tenant regarding damage of his goods, the landlord should keep his property safe that is left on the premises in London. An option other than re-entering property is issuing proceedings of court in London. This can be done by issuance of forfeiture proceedings through the related claim form. Despite being a long procedure that also involves addition to legal fees, it is beneficial as it prevents difficulties caused by re-taking possession. The landlord in question should know that a tenant in London can apply for relief from the forfeit through the court by sending in an application. It is possible for the tenant to stay inside the property he was staying in in London even after establishment of forfeiture right of the landlord and following of a statutory procedure. Also, it is possible for relief to be given if the property has already been entered into again by the landlord.
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