Housebuilder Top Tip: You've Got Mail!

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Housebuilder Top Tip: You've Got Mail!

Published 1 mayo 2019

Email notice provisions are becoming more common in a world which embraces e-commerce. However, there are numerous risks in serving a notice under a contract or other legal document by email. These include:

  • the email arriving late or not at all, for example through server failure or data overload;
  • the email being ignored or accidentally deleted; or
  • the email being sent to the wrong address or an address which is no longer valid and no failure notice is issued.

In light of the above, it would be appropriate to exclude service by email completely or in specific circumstances including any of the following:

  • where service of notice by email might not satisfy a requirement for writing or a signature;
  • where a particularly significant or important notice needs to be served within a set timescale (and where time may be of the essence), such as a notice in connection with breach, termination, lease renewal, or the exercise of an option; and
  • where delivery of an original notice is essential.

If the other party insists on allowing email notices, it would be important to introduce in the legal document deemed delivery provisions (so the email is effective even if it does not arrive). Deemed delivery should also be conditional on the sender taking specified steps in relation to the email notice to ensure it has in fact been properly sent and received.


Despite the above warning, email may be the most appropriate and efficient method of service in respect of matters where the notice is informative and is not time critical. However, it should always be carefully considered when a notice can and cannot be served by email and this should be clearly specified in any legal document to ensure that you are not caught out.



Aleem Khan

Aleem Khan

London - Walbrook

+44(0)20 7894 6587

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