Back
We continue to provide our legal services through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our COVID-19 Hub for legal insights, or contact us directly.
Get in Touch Menu

Protection for tenants from forfeiture despite non-payment of rent

28 November 2016

The case of Pineport Ltd v Grangeglen Ltd saw a commercial tenant, whose long lease had been forfeited by re-entry for non-payment of rent, entitled to relief from forfeiture despite the fact that it took the tenant fourteen months to apply to the court.

In this particular case the tenant had paid £90k for a 125 year lease and, after committing certain regulatory and criminal offences, fell into service charge arrears. The landlord forfeited the lease but had not re-let the property before the tenant applied to the court.

Despite the lengthy delay the High Court decided that it was wrong to consider the delay in isolation without regard to all of the circumstances. The court’s discretion is a broad one and there were a number of issues in this case which it took into account as relevant which overrode the serious delay on the part of the tenant, not least the potential loss of the premium.

As is usually the case, the court held that the tenant was entitled to relief on the condition that it paid all arrears and costs.

Although tenants might take comfort in this decision it is clear from the circumstances of this case that the court would not take the same view on a short term occupational lease where no premium was paid. There would in that case be no compelling reason for the court to grant relief.

Alasdair works in our commercial property team. He began his career with Nabarro LLP and joined us from Charles Russell LLP. He is a member of the Ethical Property Foundation. An experienced commercial property specialist, Alasdair deals with a wide range of work in relation to sales & acquisitions, development transactions, landlord and tenant and property management matters. 

We're here to help
Contact
Alasdair Garbutt LLB (Hons)
Partner
View profile
Alasdair Garbutt
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

Commercial landlords & tenants: What are your options?

Commercial property

Commercial property solicitor Emma Thompson answers some key pandemic-related questions for landlords and tenants in the commercial sphere. I am a tenant, do I have to pay my rent? If…

Emma Thompson LLB (Hons)
Solicitor

Planning use classes overhaul: COVID-19 sparks major change

Commercial property

From 1 September 2020, the categories under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order) 1987 are changing to create two new use classes. It is hoped that the overhaul…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Solicitor

COVID-19: a commercial property update for landlords & tenants

Commercial property

As you will be aware from some of our previous updates, a number of measures have been put in place to give businesses the breathing space and tools they need…

Emma Thompson LLB (Hons)
Solicitor
Contact us