Commercial landlords wishing to re-enter a commercial property can apply to the court for a possession order under Section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) or Section 146 of the Law of Property Act.
The LTA only applies in cases where the commercial premises are being used in accordance with the terms of the lease. Short tenancies under six months are also excluded – as well as agricultural tenancies.
Possession orders involve making a claim detailing why the landlord wishes to enter the premises – and including details of any damages relating to breach of covenant if this is the reason for forfeiture of the lease.
Damages are limited to losses incurred by the breach of covenant under Section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927.
In some cases, a landlord may wish to enter premises because a tenant has not quit the property after the end of a lease. In such cases, it is important not to use verbal or physical force – or threats of physical force – to evict a tenant, trespasser or squatters from commercial premises, as doing so may incur criminal liability under the Criminal Law Act 1977.
This can be frustrating for a landlord, but the processes of law regarding possession must be followed – so it is important for commercial landlords to contact Duncan Lewis property solicitors as soon as possible if they wish to apply for a possession order.
Applying to the court for a possession order involves preparing particulars of claim and details of damages involved – a date for a court hearing is set once the claim has been lodged with the court. The hearing may take several weeks to be scheduled, depending on how busy the courts are.
In cases involving trespass, it may be able to apply for an interim possession order, which – if granted by the court – will order the tenant, trespasser or squatter to quit the premises within a period of time, eg 24 hours.
Duncan Lewis can also advise commercial tenants on possession orders, if the landlord has served a Section 146 Notice under the Law of Property Act 1925 or a Section 25 Notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
Tenants have the right to serve a counter notice on the landlord – and in cases involving covenants to repair a tenant may serve a counter notice on the landlord under the Leasehold Property (Repairs) Act 1938.
Under the LTA, a tenant may also be able to apply for the renewal of a tenancy under Section 26 of the Act.
Duncan Lewis commercial property solicitors advise commercial landlords and tenants involved in possession actions to get in touch as soon as possible, so that action can be take to protect your interests and your property.
Duncan Lewis has a successful commercial property department and property litigation department able to advise on all commercial landlord and tenant matters, including disputes over breach of covenants, rent arrears and possession orders and forfeiture.
Duncan Lewis is usually able to offer a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) or set fee for commercial property cases – and also offers a set fee for the initial assessment of a case, so our clients know exactly what they will be paying.
For expert legal advice on Possession Actions, call Duncan Lewis Commercial Property Solicitors on 020 7923 4020.