How long does it take to evict a commercial tenant in the UK?
How long it takes to evict a tenant from a commercial property really depends on whether the tenant disputes the landlord’s decision. It could take a few weeks or it could take months.
How do I evict a commercial tenant in the UK?
A landlord can evict a commercial tenant in the UK by issuing what is called a Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925. This is used when a tenant has breached a term of the commercial contract and the landlord wants to regain possession of the property.
There may be several reasons why you may want to evict a tenant from a commercial property. It might be that the tenant hasn’t paid the rent for a period of time, they’ve decided to sub-let the property without permission or failed to keep the premises in good order. So, as a landlord, what actions can you take?
First and foremost, it is critical to have a written and formal contract in place where it clearly states that you have the right to take action in certain circumstances because verbal leases are difficult to enforce if any issues should arise. Even with a written agreement, it is important to take the right steps and follow the correct process in order to take back or “forfeit” the property, if it is still occupied by the tenant.
What is the forfeiture process?
You do have the option to peaceably re-enter the property if it’s empty, otherwise, you would be committing a criminal offence. Also, if someone is living in a part of the building such as above a shop, this would similarly be seen as a criminal offence to enter without permission. This method is high risk because the tenant could apply to the court for “relief from forfeiture.” This could mean that they possibly get back possession of the property and claim compensation for any losses that have been incurred as a result of your action.
The best way forward would be to apply to the county court for a re-possession order through an expert commercial property solicitor and serve it on the tenant with a strict time frame of when you require them to leave the property.
What are the main reasons to evict a tenant?
In this instance, there is no need to give the tenant any notice. You can re-enter the premises and reclaim it. However, it is highly recommended that a Notice of Repossession sign is attached to the front door.
Also, under the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery Notice, a landlord can give seven clear days' notice that they will instruct a certified Enforcement Agent to enter the building in order to recover and sell the tenant's items so that they can be recompensed for any unpaid rent.
- Breaching the terms of the lease
A commercial property solicitor would issue a Section 146 notice to all relevant parties including the tenant, stating the nature of the breach and what action would be required for compensation.
For instance, the breach may involve sub-letting the premises or failing to keep them in good order. For the latter to occur, the property must be in a state of disrepair. Under the Jervis and Harris clause, it is also feasible for the landlord to serve notice to do the repairs and claim the costs from the tenant.
The process of evicting a commercial tenant can be a time-consuming and complex process, so it is always best to get expert legal advice from commercial property solicitors, who can deal with all these issues and advise landlords of the best way to proceed, in order to get a fast and beneficial outcome.
How Can GloverPriest Help?
At GloverPriest, we can provide the expertise, guidance, and negotiation skills necessary to ensure that your lease agreement is comprehensive, fair, and beneficial for your business.
From negotiating favourable lease terms to identifying potential risks and loopholes, GlovePriest is here for you.
If you would like further advice on your commercial property, please don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert commercial lease solicitors today. Complete our enquiry form.