How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Thomas Your Own Question

Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
28732269
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My commercial tenant (a shop keeper) doesnt want to honour

Resolved Question:

My commercial tenant (a shop keeper) doesn't want to honour his Lease conditions like paying the rent. I don't have money to pay a solicitor. So, what can I do to make him honour the Lease conditions?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

 

Thanks for your question.

 

You've got to go back to your original Lease and check the clause relating to forfeiture. Every Lease has one, if yours does not you would certainly have a claim against the solicitor who acted on your behalf during the execution of the Lease.

 

A forfeiture clause empowers the Landlord to forfeit the Lease (ie. to terminate it) so that the Tenant no longer has a right to occupy the premises. You can then sue the tenant for the outstanding rent under the Lease and would obviously be free to market the property for a new tenant.

 

Note that if the forfeiture clause does not contain the words 'whether formally demanded or not' then you will have to make a formal demand for rent before exercising your right to forfeit.

 

In the first instance you should write to the tenant a formal letter setting out the rent arrears. Entitle the letter "Formal Demand for Rent" and ask for payment within a specified time (7 or 14 days) and state that if the rent arrears are not discharged then you shall execute your right to forfeiture of the Lease for non-payment of rent citing the clause and the dated Lease. Explain that his right to occupying would cease and determine upon forfeiture and you would immediately sue him for the rent.

 

If you effect forfeiture I would strongly advise you to only effect peaceable re-entry outside of the tenant's business hours. The most practical way to do this is to turn up outside of these hours, check no-one is occupying and change the locks.

 

You can then sue him using the www.moneyclaim.gov.uk if the amount you are claiming for is less than £5, 000.00. If the amount is more then you should speak to your local county court and ask to be referred to their application forms of issuing a claim other than a small one.

 

You could theoretically exercise distress upon the tenant's property by taking it in order to force him to perform his rent obligations, but these is used only very rarely and you can run in to difficulties if you seize goods that are not his. I would recommend the above remedy.

 

You ability to re-let the property should also be considered. If you doubt it can be easily re-let then you may wish to leave the tenant in occupation clocking up rent arrears until you think you can re-let it. You can then sue for the increased arrears and then re-let.

 

If this is useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. It will be gratefully received and you will be free to ask follow up questions.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tom

 

 

 

You would have to effect forfeiture by either apply to Court for an order for possession or peaceably re-entering the property to take possession of it.

 

 

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the clear & concise answer.

The Tenant has vacated the property which is a bit difficult to let now.

He has taken a Lease on a cheaper location about a quarter mile away & is trading from there.

He is claiming that he left my property because it had a leaking roof and other problems.

The roof doesn't leak, but even if it did the Lease clearly states that he is responsible for all repairs including the roof.

If I took this tenant to court for non payment of rent, as I have not forfeited the Lease, how would the Judge view his false allegations especially since he has a friend who is willing to support his claims?
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.

Hi,

 

Thanks for your kind accept.

 

If the Lease states that it is his responsibility to repair then this will not affect your ability to recover the rent at Court. It is in fact a further breach of Lease if he is responsible for it's repair so you may consider an action to recover the amount if costs to repair the roof as well as an action for the rent.


It does seem strange that he should assert the neglectful state of repair of the roof given that it is his responsibility to keep it in repair and therefore his breach of Lease, perhaps you are not dealing with the sharpest knife in the drawer.

 

Kind regards,

 

Tom

Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6444
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Thomas and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Last | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/venkoj/2010-02-20_133027_ben_pic.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    3850
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg Jenny Mackenzie's Avatar

    Jenny Mackenzie

    Satisfied Customers:

    2612
    Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/matthewjones/2009-9-7_20342_picture_007.jpg Matthew J's Avatar

    Matthew J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    323
    4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/2013-12-6_91518_MeforJA.64x64.jpg Stuart J's Avatar

    Stuart J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    5198
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    24742
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6561
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice