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Barney Bose

Trainee Solicitor - East Sussex (Uckfield)

27th July 2023

What happens if a notice under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is returned undelivered?

For commercial landlords and tenants (not residential), in the absence of any provisions related to notices in the lease, notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 can be served in a number of ways. These are personal service; leaving the notice at the recipient’s last known place of residence; or by recorded delivery or registered post addressed to the recipient there.

But what happens if a notice is sent by recorded delivery and is returned undelivered?

Returned to sender

Case law would suggest that despite the fact that the notice was unable to be delivered, by sending the notice via recorded delivery or registered post, this is still deemed to be valid service. As long as one of the methods of service mentioned above are used, service of the notice will be valid.

However, when relying on case law, there is always a risk that a judge could decide to distinguish the facts of your case from the case law that you are attempting to rely on. If a landlord or tenant wants to completely avoid any doubts over whether or not the notice is validly served, they should consider personally serving the notice (or using a process server to do so), or leaving the notice at the recipient’s last known place of residence. Serving the notice by multiple methods will minimise the chances of the recipient being able to argue that service of the notice wasn’t valid.

Landlords and tenants should also check the contents of their lease carefully for any additional provisions relating to the service of notices, as these clauses may affect the validity of service of a notice or provide for additional methods of service which can be used.

Contact Us

If you need assistance drafting and serving property notices, or would like advice on the validity and service of them, please do get in touch with a member of the Rix & Kay dispute resolution team.