Commercial Forfeiture

Commercial Forfeiture

Commercial forfeiture

In circumstances where commercial tenants are in breach of covenant and the lease allows, and where rent arrears cannot be recovered, the landlord can exercise the common law remedy of forfeiture. Burlington Group can take possession of the premises peacefully and secure them without recourse to the courts.
Possession needs to be done peacefully without opposition or resistance from the tenant so is usually carried out at night or early in the morning. The landlord cannot seize the tenants stock and commercial forfeiture cannot be used when the landlord has already attempted to collect any arrears using CRAR.

What can we offer?

  • The appointment of a reputable locksmith to attend repossession
  • Drafting of repossession and bailee notices
  • A full inventory of goods supported by digital photographs which are emailed within 24 hours

All warrants must be emailed to enforcement@burlingtongroup.co.uk Click here to download our warrant for same day nationwide service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the landlord require a court order for commercial premises?
The landlord does not require a court order for commercial premises, as the landlord has the common law right to take peaceful re-entry.
How soon can Burlington Group take possession once instructed?
Usually within 24 hours of instruction.
Can you please explain the process?
An enforcement agent would attend the premises with a locksmith (outside normal trading times) to gain access and change the locks. A full inventory will be taken of the goods inside the property as well as taking photographic evidence. They will also note the meter readings if visible. We will post notices confirming that the premises have been repossessed by the landlord. Upon completion, the enforcement agent will deliver the keys locally or send them to the instructed address by registered post.
What happens to the goods inside the property?
If instructed a Notice is prepared and displayed in accordance with Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977at the premises advising the tenant/whom it may concern that they must contact either us or the landlord by a set date (normally seven to 14 days) to arrange the collection of the goods.
Can I keep the goods if the tenant owes rent?
No. The goods belong to the tenant and they are entitled to remove them from site.
What if the tenant does not contact me to collect the goods?
In accordance with theTorts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977, once the date has expired and no contact has been received, you will be able to remove the goods and sell them at auction. However, you can only recover the removal and auctioneer’s costs from the proceeds of the sale.
Can I instruct you to use both CRAR and Peaceful Forfeiture at the same time?
No. The two methods cannot be used for the same breach of the tenancy agreement so you will need to decide which method is most desirable which was recently clarified in Thirunavukkrasu v Brar & Brar [2018] EWHC 2461 (Ch).
The property is a shop with a flat above. Can you just take possession of the commercial element?
No we cannot as in the case of Pirabakaran v Patel & Patel [2006] 26 May CA, [2006] EWCA Civ 685. The tenant had a shop with a flat above in which he lived and was a business tenancy within Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. When he fell behind with his rent the landlords forfeited the lease with Bailiffs who took possession of the shop and flat. The Court of Appeal held that the forfeiture was not lawful because the landlords had not obtained a prior court order as required by Section 2 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.