If there is a relevant breach and no operative waiver, the landlord may proceed to forfeit. However the ability to do so effectively is limited as the courts have jurisdiction to grant the tenant relief from forfeiture. This is an equitable jurisdiction, although now largely dependent upon statute.
It is part of equitys general jurisdiction to relieve against penalties and other means that the court may order the lease to continue where forfeiture is considered too drastic a remedy and disproportionate to the damage suffered by the landlord.
The question of relief is now governed by statute with different provisions applying in relation to forfeiture for non payment of rent and other forfeiture for other reasons.
In respect of forfeiture for matters other than non payment of rent the position is governed by s.146 law of property act 1925. s.146(1) provides that before proceeding to forfeit the landlord must first serve notice upon the tenant (a) specifying the particular breach complained of b)if the breach is capable of remedy, requiring it to be remedied
c)whether or not it is capable of remedy, requiring the tenant to make compensation in money.
The purpose of notice is as a chance for the tenant to ut matters right and avoid the need for forfeiture.
Of the matters required by the subsection to be in the notice, only the first - the identification of the breach is always strictly necessary. It was held in Rugby school Governors V Tannahill that monetary compensation need not be required if the landlord does not want it. Remedying of the breach is, by the terms of the sub section, only required if the breach is capable of remedy.
This can however put a landlord in difficulties in knowing whether a breach is irremediable or not. If it is...