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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7435
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I have a retail shop which is let to tenant who has disappeared,

Resolved Question:

I have a retail shop which is let to tenant who has disappeared, can I enter the shop, take control of the stock that is there (Jeans for men and women) and as lease ends November 30th start looking for new Tenant, I will keep stock of Jeans and if unable to recove debt will sell them. Is this in order ??
Submitted: 5 years ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.


Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. Do you have a written lease for the tenant
  • 2. Please confirm that the tenant is in arrears with the rent

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes a standard commercial llease, rent was due1st July, he called tto say he couldn't pay but has now disappeared and left shop with stock, we need access to clear stock and re-let asap The Lease expires 30th Nov 2011
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



Thanks for your reply.


If it is a standard lease then there will be a forfeiture clause in there which permits you to forfeit the lease and take possession if the rent is outstanding. Look for this clause. It will refer to the amount of days outstanding the rent must be in order to forfeit and also probably state that you can do this whether you formally demand (rent) or not.

If it does then you can simply re-enter the property and taken possession by changing the locks; there is no requirement to apply for a court order for eviction in this case.


There must be arrears of rent in order for you to seize their property under the law of distraint. The amount of goods seized may only be proportionate to the size of the rent arrears. You cannot seize tools of the trade to the value of £150.00. You should try (however pointless) to contact the tenant to offer him the choice to pay to have the goods released to him, if he does not agree or respond within a reasonably time then you are permitted to sell the goods yourself.

Needless to say, if the tenant's interest was registered (ie. Term greater than 7 years) then you will have to apply to the land registry to have the leasehold title closed before you are able to let to a new tenant.


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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,


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