Covering Letter with Notice

When serving notice in anticipation of possession proceedings, you should avoid enclosing a covering letter with the notice. 

In Mundy v Hook (CC (Bromley)) County Court (Bromley) [1997] C.L.Y. 3246, the landlord had served a section 21 notice and the notice (which was perfectly valid) was accompanied by a letter stating that it was very likely that they would not wish for possession at the end of the period. 

The landlord stated that this notice protected his position. 

It was held that as a matter of construction the s.21(1)(b) notice and accompanying letter were to be read together and were equivocal. 

The notice was not good in law. A tenant must know as a matter of certainty whether he is required to quit or not, particularly since under the 1988 Act, an accelerated possession procedure can be utilised by the landlord. 

Severe prejudice could be caused to a tenant if such possession followed an equivocal statutory notice. We have also seen an accompanying letter asking the tenant to vacate on a different date to the notice, which can cause serious issues.

View Related Handbook Page

Landlord Wants Tenant to Leave

A tenancy of someone's home, starting on or after 28 February 1997, will in most cases be an assured shorthold tenancy. Take advice early if there are any doubts about what type of tenancy is being terminated. The procedures for ending a tenancy are different, depending on the type of tenancy.