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Commercial Landlords changed locks and disposed of my goods

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I signed a lease on a commercial premesis in Nov 07. For the most of 2008 i did work at my new factory setting it up (ie building work etc)to move my existing company into there. Because of a lack funds the work was done by co worker and i mainly at weekends. I paid the rent for the whole period. I got a rent demand in sept08. Covering the period october to december 2008. This was paid late (in dec). In jan 09 i received the next rent demand. On the 12th jan09 i turnup to find the locks were changed. I called the management agent up to ask why. He told me because i did not pay my rent and that they had emptied out the unit and threw out everything that was in the unit. I then called up the landlord and pleaded with him to let me back into the unit because my business depended on it. He agreed to let me back in only if i paid the current rent, which i did. When i got back in all the stock and parts was missing. I sent claim to my landlord for the cost of the stock and parts. He refused saying that there was hardly anything in the unit when they cleared it out. The value of the goods is worth over £15K.

Oh and by the way i had to pay a quarters rent in advance as desposit when I signed the intial contract in 2007.


My business is having a cash flow crisis because all the cost for moving and not being able to get any funding from banks. I cant really afford a solicitor now and have been to told take this to court myself. Any advise and help would be dearly appreciated.


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A landlord can seek the services of bailiffs to recover unpaid commercial rent without the need for a court warrant.

So it would seem that it was the landlord who sanctioned the actions in the first place here.

You are entitled to know how and where your stock was disposed of and I would have thought that there would need to have been an inventory or certainly some record taken.

I will move your thread.

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Hi, got your PM. As you have read we were in a similar situation but the landlord did not touch our property. I know you say you can't afford a solicitor but I would suggest you involve one, even if it's just to start things off for you. It sounds as if you have a good case, but it would be a matter of studying the terms of the lease as well.


When it happened to us we used a solicitor to get us back into the building, we then paid for a barrister to draft up the claim but then we started the court proceedings and did a lot of the other work ourselves. It cost us a few hundred for the solicitor's initial involvement and £500 for the barrister. The biggest costs came when it went to court but as we won the other side had to pay that.


Have you got any sort of insurance or memberships that give you legal expenses cover? We were members of the Chamber of Commerce at the time (not that they helped as they got out of it on a technicality) and I know the FSB offer a similar scheme.


Will help all I can, whatever you decide to do.


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The thing is the landlords never got a bailiff to change the locks, they did it themself. The goods were thrown into a skip. They did not document what was removed. They were looking to rent out the unit to a new tenant without telling me or ending my lease.

I did pay a quarters rent in advance.

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