A new study by ‘landlords champion’ Landlord Action of the last 200 instructions received from landlords and letting agents that have served their own legal notices on tenants (Section 8 and Section 21) has revealed that 62% of these notices were deemed incorrect, which meant they were invalid or posed a greater risk of being thrown out at court; resulting in the need for new notices to be served.
Some landlords choose to serve notices themselves as a cost saving exercise, but Managing Director, Paul Shamplina, warns mistakes in eviction notices are among the most common reasons for delays and increased costs when a landlord tries to recover possession from a tenant who has an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). “I understand the need for landlords to consider every cost but I can’t stress enough that the notice is the most important part of a possession court case and the slightest mistake can end up costing a landlord significantly more than the cost savings – in extra legal fees, delays and lost rent.”
The study carried out by Landlord Action found the top five reasons for notices being invalidated are:-
1. Incorrect expiry dates
2. Failure to comply with deposit legislation
3. Inaccurate accompanying rent arrears schedules
4. The method of how the notice was served
5. Typing errors on the notice
Mr Shamplina explains “Over the last year, we have encountered an increasing number of problems with notices served by landlords and agents. As a result, our legal department has carried out a full analysis of our last 200 cases, not only to get a true reflection of how common this is, but also to find out exactly what mistakes are being made. Unfortunately, some landlords and even agents are still making classic errors when drafting and serving notices.
The worst case scenario for a landlord desperate to regain possession of a property is to be three months down the line and find they have to start the whole process all over again, costing them a small fortune in legal fees and lost rent. That’s why in cases where we are not instructed to draft the notices, we carry out a full ‘health check’ on notices/legal paperwork, before it is filed at court.”
Landlord Action will email an advice note to any landlord or agent that has served notice themselves highlighting any errors and stating the risks these could pose at court. If completely incorrect, they will advise that it must be re-served.
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