Rent arrears

Rent arrears

"Having worked with a number of lawyers over the past 25 years, I found the team professional, confident and commercial and that it pools knowledge. The atmosphere and environment is tremendous. I genuinely look forward to working with the team again."

Andrew Wells

Head of Property, EFB Holdings Limited

Shoosmiths' team is experienced in providing advice to a variety of landlord clients, including investment landowners, property developers, financial institutions, major retailers, leisure operators, and local authorities on all rent arrears issues.

Our team prides itself on advising landlords on the most effective and commercial approach to recovering rent arrears from a defaulting tenant.

How we can help you

  • With exercising distraint, a self-help remedy by which a landlord can seize its tenant's goods to the value of the rent arrears owing and, unless the tenant then pays the arrears, sell them to set against the rent debt. We will advise on all issues arising from the Law of Distress (Amendment) Act 1908, including as to which categories of goods are protected from distraint; reputed ownership; and the service of notices claiming the protection of the Act.
  • Serving notices on subtenants pursuant to Section 6 of the Law of Distress (Amendment) Act, so that the subtenant is obliged to pay its rent directly to the superior landlord.
  • Forfeiture of the tenant's lease by way of peaceable re-entry, in order to recover possession of the premises to prevent further rent arrears from accruing. We will also deal with any subsequent application by the tenant for relief from forfeiture.
  • Issuing debt recovery proceedings.
  • Issuing statutory demands and applying for a winding up petition against the tenant.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law FirmsWe are also able to advise clients on the most appropriate method of enforcement to give landlords the greatest chance of recovering the rent arrears owing, including:

  • Third party debt Orders
  • Charging orders placed over property
  • Orders for sale
  • Liens over property

Work highlights

  • Acting for the landlord of commercial premises in a High Court claim for rent arrears in excess of £1m, with subsequent cross-border enforcement.
  • Enforcing judgments for rent arrears over all types of property, including a multi-million pound luxury yacht, canal boats and cars.