How to Manage Problem Tenants in Commercial Property


Thankfully most commercial tenants are responsible individuals or companies who want to grow their business and be in a commercial property that gives them and their business some stability. A good relationship with their landlord gives them that security. However, there are a few tenants  that could cause you problems whilst they are in your commercial property.

You may feel that you lack control and that you are unsure about what you can and cannot do in the circumstances, so understanding your rights is crucial to understanding your next steps.

Problems and Records

There are a number of ways that your tenant may be in breach of the lease. One of the most common is non-payment of the rent, but other breaches such as insolvency or using the property for an unauthorised activity could apply.

If your tenant is in breach of your lease agreement, you have the option to terminate the lease early, known as forfeiture. You should be aware that you can only lawfully forfeit a lease if there is a clause listed in the lease agreement. Therefore, it is important to get the lease correct right from the start.

You need to decide if you are going to obtain possession of the property from your tenant or try to negotiate with them, particularly if the breach is for non-payment of rent. You could alter the terms of the lease to offer a reduced rental period to help them to recover, or better still agree personal terms with the tenant without varying the the terms of the lease.

If you do not want to negotiate or there has been a serious breach of the lease, you can gain possession of your property through the Court, applying for a possession order. This can be costly though and most breaches, other than non-payment of rent require you to give notice to your tenants.

Legal Action and Warrants

In some circumstances, you could exercise ‘peaceable re-entry’ to your property. This allows you to enter your property and change the locks so your tenants cannot enter the property any more. There are a number of situations where this is not legal though and it is really important that you get specialist legal advice from a commercial property solicitor before taking action.

Whatever action you decide to take, proper help and advice from a solicitor will help you to bring the dispute to an end and allow you to ensure that you are legally protected.

If you would like help and advice on how to manage problem tenants in your commercial property, please do get in touch with our experienced commercial property team. You call us on +44 (0) 20 7490 5861, email us on or complete our Free Online Enquiry and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.