In order to evict a tenant you must either serve a section 8 or section 21 notice. When serving either of these notices it is important to check the provisions contained within the tenancy agreement regarding service of notices and then follow these provisions.
Section 8(1) (a) of the Housing Act, 1988 states that the notice must be “served on the tenant” however no further guidelines are given.
It is important to check to see if section 196 of the Law of Property Act, 1925 is mentioned with the tenancy agreement.
Section 196 itself states that notices will be served properly if :-
a. Left at the last known address of the tenant.
b. It is left for the tenant i.e. put through the letter box or affixed to the door.
c.It is sent by registered letter i.e. recorded delivery and is not returned as undelivered.
If there are no express provisions in the tenancy agreement regarding service, then the landlord must prove that the notice has been received by the tenant.
In respect of recorded delivery, we at Solicitors4landlords have found that tenants, especially difficult tenants, will not accept service or never collect the letter, which is then returned as undelivered.
In the circumstances we serve notices by first class post and recorded delivery if specifically requested by the landlord. In addition we always provide a copy to the landlord and request that the landlord attend at the property and personally serve the notice or post it through the letter box with an independant witness. As an alternative we can arrange personal service by an enquiry agent however this may cost in the region of £100 plus vat.
Should it be necessary to issue possession proceedings following expiry of either notices in order to evict a tenant proof of service of the notices is submitted to the court by way of a certificate of service. These are prepared and filed at Court by Solicitors4landlords and are part of our stage 2 fee.
We at Solicitors4landlords will always discuss service of notices with you upon instructions. For further details call us on 01455 553945.