Q&As

What would the statutory position be if the postal system is not available due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the parties have to serve a statutory notice (absent any emergency legislation which may be introduced to deal with this issue)?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/03/2020

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What would the statutory position be if the postal system is not available due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the parties have to serve a statutory notice (absent any emergency legislation which may be introduced to deal with this issue)?
  • LPA 1925, s 196
  • LPA 1925, s 23

What would the statutory position be if the postal system is not available due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and the parties have to serve a statutory notice (absent any emergency legislation which may be introduced to deal with this issue)?

The postal service is commonly used to effect service of a wide variety of notices under statutes. Notices frequently encountered by property disputes lawyers include those served under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954) and the Law of Property Act 1925 (LPA 1925).

Whether, and if so when, notices are served frequently affects parties’ substantive property rights. It may therefore be very important to understand how notices may be served if there were no effective Royal Mail service for a period of time for any reason (including as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)).

The first step will be to carefully assess both the instrument (for example a contract, deed or lease) under which the notice is to be served, and the statutory regime which applies to the notice. Separate statutes may govern the circumstances in which the notice can or must be served on one hand, and the way in which service can take place on the other. For example, the termination of protected business tenancies is governed by LTA 1954, which incorporates the service regime set out in section 23 of the Landlord and Tenant

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