Tenant lied about receiving S8 Notice hearing adjourned?

Tenant lied about receiving S8 Notice hearing adjourned?

10:19 AM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago 65

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S.8 Notice was hand delivered and also posted 1st class, proof of postage and pictures showing delivery by hand were submitted. The Duty solicitor quoted Enfield v Devonish (1996, CofA) which the Judge had not heard of and was clearly frustrated and said it is not in dispute that the notice was served but there is no evidence the tenant had sight of it. The case has been adjourned to allow evidence to be gathered and is now in a few weeks.

My tenancy agreement does not have a clause regarding service but I thought I could rely on the Law and Property Act, apparently not! The tenant’s daughter confirmed to me twice that her Mum had been given the notice, but the Tenant denied this.

The Tenant has not lived at the property for about 18 months, we have had no communication for 2 years, any contact has been with the adult children who are working and living in the house rent-free. The rent arrears are over 12 months.

I have spent days researching and have spoken to so many solicitors I’ve lost count, no one has heard of this case.

I’m hoping someone here has and can help.


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Laura Delow

11:06 AM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

This is a prime example of the courts are not fit for purpose.


11:13 AM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

"but there is no evidence the tenant had sight of it."

What was the legal basis given, if any, for that asserted requirement, proper service could have been given directly to the tenant who put it in a shredder unseen?

Lee Bailey

11:18 AM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Then landlords should use Process Servers who hand it to the tenant directly. It costs money but just raise the rents country wide to cover it. That'll stop these ridiculous judgements, and well done to the lawyer who has raised rents for ALL tenants going forward.

I just want to sell up!

11:25 AM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by moneymanager at 14/02/2023 - 11:13
I know it makes no sense. I told the Judge that the S8 Notice, arrears statement etc were open on the coffee table when I went to the property for an inspection visit, that was 2 months prior to the hearing. The reply was, there is no evidence it was put in the tenants' hand.

I contacted a process server but as I do not know where the tenant is now living there is no address to serve to.

I just don't know what to do now!

Simon M

12:42 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

With the right access the legal basis for the judgement is available online, so you might have more success contacting a specialist in tenancy law.

Summary of the verdict:

It cuts off where the judge begins to consider a second agreement between tenant and landlord to repay the debt, not the service of notice point you mention.
You'd need to sign up to read the full judgement.

This won't solve your problem, but may set you on the right path. Good luck.

Seething Landlord

13:14 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

The case is cited and the requirements for service on the tenant explained in the following paper (but bear in mind that it was a handout at a meeting so not necessarily authoritative), paragraphs 37 to 44:


This is no doubt why standard agreements include details of how documents and notices may be served as without this you need to prove that the notice came into the tenant's hands according to para 39:

"As to service, Although a notice does not at common law require personal service, the
landlord must still be able to prove that, if left at the tenant's house, it came into the
tenant's hands: Wandsworth v Atwell (1995) 27 HLR 536, CA; Enfield BC v Devonish
and Sutton (1997) 29 HLR 691, CA; see also Woodfall para. 17.241 and Defending
Possession Proceedings para. 14.24."

The paper also addresses the apparent conflict with the provisions of the LPA.

I have no idea how you can deal with the immediate problem if you are unable to locate the tenant and the tenancy agreement does not stipulate how notices are to be served. Your best hope is that you are able to persuade the judge at the next hearing that service was valid but the only evidence you have is what you were told, so this raises the intricacies of the law relating to hearsay evidence. If he takes a robust view he could decide that he prefers your evidence and that on the balance of probabilities the tenant did receive the notice, otherwise how did she know about the hearing and turn up at Court for the hearing?

Perhaps a different approach will be needed, possibly based on the adult children being in illegal occupation but that is just a random thought and others might be able to offer alternative solutions.

Seething Landlord

13:49 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 14/02/2023 - 13:14
Interesting to note that HHJ Jan Luba KC, who appeared for the second defendant in the Enfield case, is the author of "Defending Possession Proceedings", described as "the key ‘homelessness prevention’ handbook – a comprehensive guide to all aspects of the law and practice relating to possession proceedings pursued against occupiers of residential property." and available to purchase for the modest sum of £75.

I just want to sell up!

13:50 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Unbelievable. I bet the duty solicitor has that book!

As you correctly said, my evidence is technically hearsay but I am hoping I might get lucky with the Judge. The other thing I thought of was trying to prove the tenant is no longer a tenant so the case regarding service does not apply.

Either way, if I am not successful next month, it will get expensive. I might just buy that book to see what else could be argued against me.

Seething Landlord

14:10 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by I just want to sell up! at 14/02/2023 - 13:50
Yes, I understand that it is the "go to" book for housing lawyers, including judges. Mr Luba obviously started as he intended to continue and is now widely recognised as a leading authority.

Please let us know what happens at the hearing.

Seething Landlord

14:39 PM, 14th February 2023, About A year ago

Just one more point, if you read the judgement in the Enfield case (previously referenced by Simon M https://vlex.co.uk/vid/the-mayor-and-burgesses-792762765 ) it states at paragraph 8:

"The learned judge based his decision on two grounds. He recognised that in the normal course of events, as is common ground, a plaintiff who seeks to rely on a notice to quit must prove that it came to the attention of the tenant."

Note the words "came to the attention" rather than "into the hands" of - is it possible that someone has added their own gloss? Always possible that the more onerous "into the hands of" comes from another case. However, "coming to the attention of" is arguably possible without the tenant "having sight of" the notice, which is the wording used by the judge in your case.

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