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Legal appeal aims to protect landlords' postal rights

letter being posted

The NRLA has stepped in to help fight a legal battle over whether it is acceptable for vital rental documents to be served by post.

It follows the case of D’Aubigny v Khan where the tenant - Ms D’Aubigny – argued that a Section 21 notice was invalid because the EPC, gas safety certificate and How to Rent guide had not been received. She said the tenancy agreement did not contain a clause explicitly stating that these documents could be served by post.

The landlords argued that they had served the documents by recorded delivery and there was a clause in the agreement stating that such notices sent by post to the property would be deemed served on the tenant.  

Initial decision

In the initial decision, and the first appeal, the judges agreed with the landlords, taking the view that clauses stating that notices could be served by post and included documents such as the EPC or gas safety certificate.  

The tenant was granted permission for a second appeal and the NRLA will now intervene, arguing that using the post is legally valid. “This is so we can provide evidence to the courts of the large number of landlords who could be negatively affected if the decision of the other judges are not upheld,” head of policy James Wood tells LandlordZONE.

Deemed invalid

The NRLA says that should the Court of Appeal find in favour of the tenant, many of the time sensitive documents landlords have served could be deemed invalid. Similarly, if judges take the view that legislation must specify when posting a document is sufficient for service, then, going forward, many of the documents required to be served under a tenancy could not be served by post.

It recommends that landlords ensure their tenants sign on receipt of any required documents, as this will evidence the tenant has received them. 


Section 21 notice
Court of appeal