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senior partner
senior partner, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13325
Experience:  30 years commercial law
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My friend has a 7 year lease on a property in Edgeware Road.

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My friend has a 7 year lease on a property in Edgeware Road. He converted the use from A1 (retail) to A3 (mixed class) restaurant and cafe by putting tables chairs outside for eating and sisha without palnning permission.

Location is Edgware Road Stress Area, Council say "there are reasonable and appropriate conditions imposed to limit adverse effects and safeguard residential amenities and local environmental quality and his unauthorized use of property is now not controlled meaning he can trade at any time of the day into the early hours, plus further harm is the placing of tables and chairs outside and the smoking of shisha contravening A1 by A3 use.

After a year of the Council asking him to restore building back to A1 (Letters to landlord also), Council sent on 13 Feb 13 an enforcement notice that he had 1 month to comply and upto 28 March to appeal.

The Landlord sent him on 22 Feb a s.146 notice asking him to comply in 14 days - he has done nothing albeit he had been promising to.

Is it too late to appeal to Council?

The landlord changed the locks last week with about 3/4 years left on lease and intends to put up the rent for the remaining years left - can he do that? Should he make an application to the court asking for a hearing? – it seems to me that he has forfeited his lease.

He cant get the lease because it is locked in the shop with his belongings.
Thank you for your question. This depends upon the terms of the lease but it is normal in commercial leases to provide for a right of forfeiture and reentry in certain circumstances and if your friend traded in breach of the planning consent and the terms of the lease and simply ignored both a s146 notice and the council's enforcement notice then it seems likely that that is exactly what the landlord has done. Unlike residential leases a commercial lease can be forfeit without court process.

Your friend can apply to court for relief against forfeiture but he should really have done this when the s146 notice was served. The court can take into account all the circumstances and frankly is not likely to be sympathetic to someone who has simply ignored the law but it is worth a try. He should get a solicitor to do this it is not something to attempt as a litigant in person.
senior partner and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for help it will help in clarifying his position. However I am still unsure as to whether the landlord can

(i) lock him out with his belonging still in the shop and

(ii) increase the rent for the remainder of the lease, if he was to be allowed to continue with the lease which he says has about 3/4 years left to run?

Hi thanks for the follow up.

To be clear. Yes the landlord can do this. the landlord having enters into possession can distrain on any goods in the premises for the rent and damages.

The lease is forfeited so there is not continuing term. he landlord can relet fro what ever he wishes.

The only remedy for your friend is to got to court and challenge the forfeiture or ask for relief .

as long as the lease has the usual clauses in it , the Landlord is within his rights

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