Staying Forfeiture Proceedings

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Case: The Trustees of Godinton House v Luandy Farming Limited

    1. In this case I act for the Tenant in a dispute where the Landlords allege some breaches of covenant which were then set out in a Notice given under section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 as a preliminary to forfeiture proceedings. Following the service of the section 146 Notice, the Landlords commenced forfeiture proceedings in the Canterbury County Court.
    1. The letting, which is a farm business tenancy, is the subject of a formal Lease. The Lease contains a dispute resolution provision which requires, in default, any dispute to be determined by arbitration.
    1. In the possession proceedings I applied to the Court to stay the forfeiture action in reliance upon section 4 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Section 4 requires the Court to stay proceedings where there is a valid arbitration agreement. The application succeeded. The forfeiture proceedings are stayed pending the outcome of the Arbitration.
    1. This is food for thought in relation to the drafting of farm business tenancy agreements where, despite the fact that the Law Commission recommended a wholesale change in the law of forfeiture in 2004, forfeiture remains a landlord’s route to recover possession for a breach of covenant.

© P R Williams

3 July 2024

P R Williams, Ebery Williams – Author of Scammell, Densham & Williams Law of Agricultural Holdings

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