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Post issues can vary between tenant to landlords and landlords to tenants as well as tenants leaving post to be delivered after leaving the property. Proof of Posting: One can never be too cautious.  The following is my reply to a tenant: You claim that you did not receive service (of notice delivered 4 Dec 2021) until 21st December 2021.  This is of little consequence.  Section 196 of Law of Property Act 1925 provides that a notice is deemed served if it is left at the premises of the demised by the lease or sent to a tenant by Recorded Delivery addressed to the recipient at their last known place of abode or business and is not returned undelivered.  You received both (in addition to email and other means). Section 196 of Law of Property Act 1925 has been amended to include case law and changes to post office practices. London Borough of Southwark v Runa Akhtar, Stel LLC [2017] UKUT 0150 (LC) has  clarified serving postal  notices. If Section 196 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (“Section 196”) applies to a lease or AST,  A notice is “served” if: it is either left at the premises demised by the lease, or sent to a tenant by Recorded Delivery, addressed to the recipient at their last known place of abode or business, and it is not returned undelivered. Service in the latter case is deemed to take place in the ordinary course of post. Section 7 Interpretation Act 1978: where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post, service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document. Service under Section 7 is also deemed to have taken place at the time at which the letter would ordinarily be delivered, unless the contrary is proved. There is therefore a presumption of service. If no other provision applies, notices are served when they “come to the attention” of the recipient. The tenant denied receiving the notice claiming it was improperly served . The Court’s decision It was held the lease was effective in making section 196 applicable to notices served “in connection with” the lease.  The provisions of Section 196 applied to service of the  Notice. The result is that a lease with similar wording will give effect to the service provisions of Section 196 in cases where the act under which the notice is served is silent on methods of service. The court held that, where Section 196 applies to a notice, Section 7 will also apply because service by post was authorised by Section 196. As a result, notices served by first class post will be deemed served in the ordinary course of post, unless the contrary is proved. As to what evidence is required to demonstrate service or non-receipt under Section 7, the case provided the following very useful guidelines: The sender need not provides exact times notices are sent. Landlord evidence provided the process by which notices were served enough to show that the notices were sent. The tenant’s arguments denying receipt of notice were a “bare denial”.  As a matter of law, the tenant’s submissions were insufficient to rebut the presumption of service in Section 7. Practice points The general rule ensuring any notice strictly follows express service requirements set out in the lease still stands. Ideally, notices should be served by Special or Recorded Delivery, in order to evince proof of delivery. Notices served by First Class post are more reliable. Regardless of procedure, retaining a record of notice delivery: when and by whom, together with digital or hard/ paper copies with accompanying letter / explanation and any enclosures.  The onus is then on the recipient to disprove any notice was received absent which Section 7 applies.
  • See also:

post for previous tenants Redirecting mail mail and redirecting mail  
Published: 27 December 2021 Last Updated: 28 December 2021