Safin v Badrig – Relief from forfeiture and complying with conditions

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In Safin v Badrig the The Court of Appeal found that deadlines for complying with conditions for relief from forfeiture are not necessarily set in stone.

The landlord’s forfeiture claim had been settled by a consent order which provided for relief on condition that rent arrears were paid by a certain date, time being of the essence. Payment was not made on time but the tenant’s estate did make a court application, prior to the consent order deadline, for an extension of time for compliance. It then also made payment shortly thereafter. The Court of Appeal considered the situation where a consent order records the settlement of a substantive dispute on certain terms, but then those terms are not complied with.

Focusing on: the court’s discretion to vary or extend consent orders where that enables a case to be dealt with justly and at proportionate cost in all the circumstances; the fact that an application for an extension was made promptly and that payment was made shortly thereafter; and the fact that forfeiture is a draconian measure, the court dismissed the landlord’s appeal and allowed relief from forfeiture.

The case is an important reminder that some court deadlines – certainly in the context of relief from forfeiture cases – are not necessarily set in stone.

In our more detailed briefing, Housing Litigation expert Karl Anders, looks in more detail at the context and the court’s approach.