Serve you right?
Published 27 June 2016
Errors in service may invalidate a notice. It is, therefore, vital to ensure that you serve a notice effectively. The service of a notice is often a key step in creating, exercising, maintaining or terminating legal rights.
Before serving a notice, you should check the lease or contract to see if it contains provisions regarding service. Typically documents provide that the service of notices is to be effective if the requirements laid down by section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 are satisfied.
According to section 196, the following rules apply:
- Form: notices must be given in writing;
- Method of service: notices are properly served if:
- they are left at the last-known place of abode or business in the United Kingdom or, for tenants, are left at the premises; or
- they are sent by post in a registered letter to the last known place of abode or business in the United Kingdom and are not returned undelivered
It is best practice to obtain evidence of service if possible (e.g. using a signed for postal service, obtaining a courier receipt or a formal statement from a person serving in person).
As with many things, it's easy to comply with service requirements if you know what they are. If you are considering preparing a notice for service please get in touch and we can ensure that you follow the right rules.