Q&As

How can a landlord serve a section 8 notice and possession proceedings on a tenant who is in prison and where the property is now occupied by the tenant’s friends? Is it possible, or necessary, for the landlord to find out which prison the tenant is in?

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Produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne
Published on LexisPSL on 22/02/2021

The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How can a landlord serve a section 8 notice and possession proceedings on a tenant who is in prison and where the property is now occupied by the tenant’s friends? Is it possible, or necessary, for the landlord to find out which prison the tenant is in?

How can a landlord serve a section 8 notice and possession proceedings on a tenant who is in prison and where the property is now occupied by the tenant’s friends? Is it possible, or necessary, for the landlord to find out which prison the tenant is in?

As is well-known, unlike some other Acts, the Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988) does not deal with the issue of service of statutory notices under the scheme laid down in HA 1988. Accordingly, the starting point for service of a notice under HA 1988, s 8 is that it must be done in accordance with the common law; personal service on the recipient is therefore the safest approach. For guidance on service at common law see Practice Note: Break clauses and notices—service, in particular, the section: Service—common law rules and Commentary: Service of notices to quit and other notices: Claims to the Possession of Land [B1.12].

Of course, the tenancy itself may contain a term which, as a matter of contractual agreement—permits the landlord to lawfully serve the section 8 notice in some other manner, eg by simply leaving it at the premises (posting through the letterbox) or posting by recorded delivery (or even ordinary post) to the tenant at the premises. In this situation, there is no need for personal service on the tenant (or otherwise); strict compliance

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