When a managing agent came to Brady Solicitors for help with resolving several issues with a troublesome leaseholder of a mixed-use property involving an illegal commercial sub-let, our commercial litigation experts took on the case and achieved a successful outcome for our client, the landlord and the sub-let tenant.
The leaseholders, two brothers, occupied the residential part of the mixed use property, but were using it for commercial purposes, which was a breach of the lease. They had also illegally sub-let the commercial aspect to another commercial tenant. The brothers, who had gone missing, failed to pay the rent or service charges and the debts were mounting up. The commercial tenant, however, was unaware of the illegal sub-let and was a good-paying tenant, which the landlord and managing agent wanted to keep.
Step 1 – commercial forfeiture
The client wanted the leaseholders (the brothers) out of the property, so we commenced commercial forfeiture proceedings and the landlord regained possession of the property by way of peaceable re-entry. Peaceable re-entry entitles the landlord (when actioned correctly) to re-enter the property, re-take possession and change the locks.
Step 2 – debt recovery
Brady Solicitors traced the brothers and issued legal proceedings to recover the outstanding debts. A settlement was reached, avoiding court action, with part of the arrears being paid upfront and a payment plan put in place for the remainder.
Step 3 – commercial sub-let
The client wanted the commercial sub-let to remain in the property to keep the revenue flowing and was keen to build a good relationship with them. A new commercial lease agreement was drafted so that the business became a legitimate commercial tenant, getting the relationship off to a good start.
The importance of keeping good-paying tenants
Whilst removing the existing leaseholders and recovering rent arrears was a priority for our client, it was equally important to keep the good-paying sub-let tenants happy and in the property to avoid having to find new tenants. This required tact, professionalism and expertise in mixed use property litigation – something for which Brady Solicitors has gained a solid reputation.