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Published 27 January 2014
Notices are commonly served under leases (for example a break notice or a rent review notice), contracts (for example a notice to complete) and statute (for example the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954).
In a recent decision, a lease required a notice to be served on the property manager as well as the landlord. The notice was served on the landlord in plenty of time, but there was no service on the property manager. Despite the landlord having received the notice and thus suffering no prejudice, the Court held that the notice was defective and had no effect.
This serves as a useful reminder that even where failure to comply with a notice provision in a lease, contract or statute does not prejudice the person on whom notice has been served, the notice is nevertheless very likely to be ineffective unless the notice provisions have been strictly complied with.
It is therefore essential that the provisions of the lease, contract or the relevant statute relating to the serving of the notice are complied with to the letter, as even purely technical breaches could have far reaching commercial consequences. Where appropriate, you should take professional advice before serving a notice to ensure that the notice has the desired effect.
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