Careful Drafting - A reminder to landlords to take care when drafting notices for possession of property
In the recent case of Masih, R (on the application of) –v- Yousaf  EWCA Civ 234 the Court of Appeal considered the landlord's failure to include formal wording in a section 8 Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988) notice. The Court ruled that the notice was valid even though it failed to include the precise wording set out in paragraph 8 of schedule 2 to the HA 1988.
The legal press about the case has included statements such as 'welcome news for Landlords' and 'reassuring news'. However, it is important that caution should be expressed along with the optimism. Whilst the landlord may have technically won his case, his legal fees in doing so will have been considerable. A Court of Appeal decision, whether in your favour or not, comes at a very high cost to all involved and will have taken some time to achieve. The only safe way to ensure a landlord’s notice will be valid, and possession regained as quickly as possible, is to use the prescribed form which includes the wording you need to use and not to deviate from it. If in doubt, it pays in the long term to seek legal advice to ensure the notice conforms to the prescribed wording.
Posted on 04/27/2014 by Ortolan