Are you worried about taking a tenant through the commercial eviction process?
Our expert professionals are here to help you understand the stages you need to go through to get your property back and recover rent arrears.
From problems with the tenant to court action and enforcement, here’s our guide to commercial evictions…
Has the tenant breached the lease?
If so, you need to act quickly.
If your tenant breaches any of their contractual obligations, most leases give landlords the right to forfeit the lease.
Usually, this happens if tenants aren’t paying the rent but they could also have damaged your property or be running a business prohibited by the lease. The latter two issues may require a separate legal notice.
Making any arrangements with the tenants about late payment could be seen as an act of waiver, which could affect your right to evict the tenant, and you don’t want them to do even more damage..
So, call us in at the earliest stage possible and get our professional advice.
What happens next?
Your tenant may comply with the terms of the lease and leave your premises, or you may be able to regain your site with ‘peaceable re-entry’.
This means there is no one who is likely to oppose the landlord’s re-entry, you aren’t threatened, and you can get inside and change the locks, leaving a visible notice for the tenant outlining what you’ve done, why, the date, and that the lease is now considered to be at an end.
If threats are issued, you run the risk of committing an offence, so get expert advice before you attempt this and hire experienced staff to do this.
You may also have to go to court for a possession order.
A 28-day period where the tenant can apply for relief or vacate the premises is usually granted by the court.
If your tenant hasn’t left, the possession order can be transferred to the High Court for a writ of possession which is the basis for an eviction.
High Court enforcement agents, like ours at Eviction Plus, must then be instructed.
They will remove the former tenant with no more than reasonable force. We would never advise landlords to do this themselves or hire unqualified people as reasonable force is decided in each, individual case and experience is key to avoiding claims of excessive force.
Do you have trespassers at your commercial site?
You may not have to go to court to deal with them.
You could evict them under common law, which is a quicker process. A representative of the landowner asks the trespassers to leave and gives them a time period in which to do so. Generally, this is 24 hours.
After this time period is up, certified enforcement officers may use reasonable force to evict the trespassers. We recommend landlords do not do this themselves, as they put themselves at risk of attack.
Are you owed back rent?
The law says commercial landlords must instruct enforcement agents to recover commercial rents which are owed to them.
This came into effect because in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 in 2014.
You can recover this commercial rent without going to court under schedule 12 of this act.
Only rent, interest, and VAT can be recovered under CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery), but we can collect the service charge and any associated debts free to the landlord and tenant if it is combined with an instruction for rent arrears under CRAR.
The debtor pays the fees for the rent arrears.