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Billson v Residential Apartments [1992]


  • A lessee made substantial alterations to a leased property in breach of covenant
  • The lessor (landlord) served a valid notice to the lessee under s 146(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925 to suspend the lease pending forfeiture
  • After no response in 14 days, the lessor took peaceable possession


  • Was the lessee allowed to claim relief from forfeiture after physical possession had been taken without court order?


  • Yes


  • Where a court order forfeits a lease, a lessee may not then apply for relief from forfeiture
  • However, were peaceable possession if taken (physically, and without a court order), a lessee may apply for relief from forfeiture within a reasonable period of time
  • The House of Lords expresses their distaste for the option given to lessors to re-take possession under forfeiture without a court order (which is legal)
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