Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Business Rent Arrears: Trap for Landlord

If a tenant of business premises is at least one week behind with the payment of rent, the landlord can send in an enforcement agent (they are regulated bailiffs who pack quite a punch - not literally) to seize goods to cover the rent due and the costs involved in seizure. This is done under what is called the commercial rent arrears scheme which was set up by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 and the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1994).

Once the landlord has used the scheme, can they have a second bite of the cherry by forfeiting the lease? The Court of Appeal has just ruled that they can't. Forfeiture would be unlawful because the landlord would be treated as having waived their right to forfeit by using the scheme and liable to pay damages to their tenant. That could be you!!!  This ruling has come in a case called Brar and another v Thirunavukkrasu [2019] EWCA Civ 2032.