Case study: relief from forfeiture

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Our client had purchased a flat as a second property and, to generate income, he sub-let it. As with most residential flats, our client had purchased the long leasehold title of the flat and was therefore subject to the terms of his own lease.

Our client’s landlord had changed on various occasions and our client did not expect to hear from them. However, our client’s lease included a term to pay an annual ground rent. The landlord sent formal demands to the flat address, but these weren’t passed on to our client by his sub-tenants. The landlord had not been notified of any other address for our client, and therefore was not required to send the demands to an alternative address.

Due to our client’s failure to pay the demanded ground rent, the landlord forfeited our client’s lease. They subsequently issued court proceedings to take back possession of the property. Forfeiture terminated the lease immediately and our client (or their sub-tenant) was no longer entitled to occupy the property. Our client had therefore lost his asset.

Our property litigation team assisted our client in obtaining relief from forfeiture, putting the client back in the position they were in before that, allowing the lease to continue.


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