Question

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave (England)

does error on Royal Mail special delivery status invalidate section 8 notice?

2 Feb 2018 | 10 comments

Hi, I sent a section 8 notice recently by Royal Mail Special Delivery. The next morning the tracking status showed as ‘Pending: could not be delivered’ and a card will have been left at the address (I assumed nobody home) . . . . but then a hour or so later the status changed to ‘Delivered’ and it shows the name of the recipient (my tenant) and the tenants signature. . . . . . HOWEVER: There seems to be an error because at the top of the track and trace page the ‘Could not be delivered’ status is also still there. The page shows the ‘Pending: Could not be delivered’ at the top and then underneath it also shows ‘Delivered’ and the tenant’s name and signature. It seems to me that the postman somehow added the ‘Delivered’ status, got the tenant to sign and also did not update the ‘Pending: could not be delivered’ so both is showing.

Do you think this is acceptable proof of service?

I ALSO sent the tenants the same notice by first class post, I used an online postage company so I didn’t get certificate of postage from the Post Office but the online postage company did provide me with a confirmation email from their company stating that the first class letter has been posted.

Answer

10 Comments

  1. guildy

    We think from what you describe you will be fine. In any event, it’s only a problem if the tenant denies receiving the notice which is rarer than what you may think.

    The simple fact is that it says it’s delivered regardless of anything else. Maybe it’s a timeline style view so it starts with pending then goes to delivered – we’re not sure.

    To be honest the online company is probably as good if not better. The law deems that a letter posted in ordinary post is delivered unless the tenant can prove otherwise. The company sounds like they specialise in posting so there’s no reason for the court to doubt.

    The two combined should give you no troubles.

  2. Jackson

    Thanks, I did notice an omission I made on the section 8 notice, I used a different address for myself than the address I specified in the tenacy agreement. The tenancy agreement has my residential address but the section 8 notice has my office address. All other details are correct, Does this matter?

    • guildy

      We like everything to match because it makes everything neater and reduces questions for the judge to ask.

      Whether it will cause a problem we do not know. The section 8 is a prescribed form and asks for the landlords address. However, it does not specify any particular address (i.e. home, business etc.) That being said it could cause confusion for the tenant as they won’t know which address they should use if they wish to reply.

  3. Jackson

    Thanks, I wonder what happens in the case of a landlord moving to a new address in the year between the tenancy agreement and the section 8 notice, if the section 8 notice has the new/current address of the landlord for replies etc . . .

  4. Jackson

    Thanks, I assume the alternative to this requirement is to provide both addresses on a section notice, the original one that’s on the tenancy agreement and the new address?

    • guildy

      No, that would be too confusing. You should only have one address in England or Wales where you will accept notices to be served upon you.

  5. Jackson

    Hi, Can a section 8 and a section 48 be served together?

    • guildy

      No, the section 48 needs to be first. We would suggest by at least 4 days to allow for service and delivery of the notice.

      The more we think about this, the more worried we are.

      The penalty for not providing the name and address of landlord in England or Wales is that “no rent is payable” until the notice is served (after which all rent including past becomes due again). Therefore, if they didn’t have your correct address before the section 8 notice, was the rent you claim to be in arrears in the notice even due?

      To be ultra safe you could either:

      • Serve a new section 8 with the address that matches the tenancy or,
      • serve a section 48 notice changing your address to the office address then, serve a new section 8 with the office address 4 days later.

      We don’t know if this is overkill and necessary but it would be the safest option.

  6. Jackson

    The tenancy agreement has always had a UK service address specified for notices (the address of the agent) so rent has always ‘been due’ , it also has my address (I am outside the UK) . . . but now I have my own UK address so I need to do the section 48 to update from the agent’s address to my own new UK address. I will send the section 48 updating the UK address and then hold off as you suggest from sending a new section 8 notice until they have received the notice. I have seen that a section 48 with a new service address is something that needs to be serviced prior to any court proceedings (ie: filing the section 8 online or a section 21 with the court)?

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