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How to Serve a Notice

It is essential that you prove to a court that any notices you serve, such as a Section 21 or Section 8 notice, have been seen

If you cannot prove this, any possession order you obtain may be subsequently overturned on appeal.

What is the best form of service on a tenant?

The best form of service is personal service where you or a member of staff or a professional process server serves the summons on the defendant and you obtain proof they have been served (via signature or witness statement).

What if I cannot meet the tenant directly?

The Law of Property Act 1925 S196(5) allows notice to be sufficiently served if left at the premises by the landlord or their representative. As such, the next best method is to deliver it to the property by hand.

Service to the property by hand should always be accompanied by a witness or by getting photographic evidence of service with proof of the date of the service.

This requires a clause written in to the tenancy agreement to certainly be able to rely on this method.

What if I live far away from the property?

If you cannot get an agent to serve the notice on the tenant, the next best form of service is by sending it through the post. You must ensure you have proof of service to the correct address at the time of sending the item. When posting, ensure that you do not send it via recorded delivery as this may not be signed for and so never reach the tenant. Sending by ordinary post, without proof of service, gives the defendant the chance to deny receipt as you cannot prove service.

My tenant was not in, but his wife signed for it. Is this acceptable?

At Common Law service can be affected by actual delivery to the tenant by serving the document on their spouse.

I have two tenants in the property on a joint tenancy. How many notices should I serve?

You should give each tenant a copy of the same notice, so in the above example it would be 2 notices you serve.

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