Service Of Letters - proof?

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    Service Of Letters - proof?

    Dear All

    I have sent off that important letter to my ex tenants asking them to pay up or see you in court etc.

    I have sent one recorded delivery and a seperate letter under normal post (but got a certificate of posting). The recorded one has NOT been signed for, and it has been 6 days now...

    They provided me with their new address, and I have checked it out of which they are living there.

    My question is - if the letter is NOT signed for, have I proved good service by sending two?

    I am just concerend iif they do not reply to the letter and I serve court papers on them, they might say - what letter???

    What are peoples' thoughts?


    #2
    An experienced litigator told me he never served notices by registered post unless it was specifically required. If the letter is returned undelivered it definitely was never received and if not signed for there has, I think, to be a presumption that it was never received.

    It also needs to be remembered that sending a letter by registered post can only ever be proof that you sent a letter and not what was in the letter.

    If you send a letter both by ordinary post and by registered letter and the registered letter is not delivered, the position is exactly the same as if you had never sent the registered letter.

    Comment


      #3
      So how do you establish (in law) that a particular letter has been properly delivered (served)?
      Mrs Jones
      I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

      Comment


        #4
        So if the registered letter was not signed for, but a normal letter in the post is proved that it has been sent - ie certificate of posting.

        It is still deemed delivered?

        I mean, two letters sent and only one received. Service has been proved?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
          So how do you establish (in law) that a particular letter has been properly delivered (served)?
          By evidence, obviously- either:
          a. personal service, duly witnessed; or
          b. postal service (e.g. recorded delivery), duly signed-for.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            For
            a. personal service, duly witnessed
            is sticking it through the letter-box with an independent witness observing OK, or does it have to be handed to the punter??

            Thanks in advance

            Lodger
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
              So how do you establish (in law) that a particular letter has been properly delivered (served)?
              I think it's just down to what a judge would consider reasonable, isn't it?

              I've never been challenged on whether a document has been correctly served or not, but my own method - following advice gleaned from this very forum - is to send two non-recorded, identical letters, from two different post offices, and obtain proofs of posting for both. Posted on different days would be even better!

              I think the argument runs that if a tenant tells the judge "Nah, never received no letters", is the judge really going to believe him when faced with the two certificates of posting?

              Comment


                #8
                From the supplement to Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, relating to service of claims, says:

                How service is effected by post, an alternative service provider or DX
                3.1

                Service by post, DX or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day is effected by

                (1)placing the document in a post box;

                (2)leaving the document with or delivering the document to the relevant service provider; or

                (3)having the document collected by the relevant service provider.
                Therefore, sending first class (i.e. next business day service) with a certificate of postage is enough. There is an assumption that the postal service is reliable - things would be impossible otherwise, with everyone constantly claiming not to have received documents.

                Ericthelobster's method of doing this twice would more than convince a court that the letter had been delivered.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  For


                  is sticking it through the letter-box with an independent witness observing OK, or does it have to be handed to the punter??

                  Thanks in advance

                  Lodger
                  It has been argued that personally putting the letter through the letterbox is not good service. This argument was taken because the TA did not say that s196 LPA applied regarding service of notices.

                  IIRC the Interpretation Act provided that service by ordinary post was valid
                  PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by westminster View Post
                    From the supplement to Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, relating to service of claims, says:



                    Therefore, sending first class (i.e. next business day service) with a certificate of postage is enough. There is an assumption that the postal service is reliable - things would be impossible otherwise, with everyone constantly claiming not to have received documents.

                    Ericthelobster's method of doing this twice would more than convince a court that the letter had been delivered.

                    that is service of a claim NOT of notices
                    PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                      The Interpretation Act provided that service by ordinary post was valid
                      Yes. Here's its s.7, with footnote annotations:

                      7. References to service by post.

                      Where an Act authorises or requires any document to be served by post (whether the expression serve or the expression give or send or any other expression is used) then, unless the contrary intention appears, the service is deemed to be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying and posting a letter containing the document and, unless the contrary is proved, to have been effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.

                      Annotations:
                      Modifications etc. (not altering text)

                      S. 7 modified (E.W.) (1.7.1995) by 1994 c. 36, s. 17(2)(3) (with s. 20); S.I. 1995/1317, art. 2
                      S. 7 excluded by Insurance Companies Act 1982 (c. 50, SIF 67), s. 77(4)
                      S. 7 excluded (E.W.) by Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985 (c. 29, SIF 1), s. 4(3), Sch. 1 Pt. IV para. 8(2)
                      S. 7 excluded by Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64, SIF 39:2), s. 11(5)
                      S. 7 excluded (20.6.2003) by The Enterprise Act 2002 (Merger Prenotification) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003/1369), regs. 5 , 11, 12, 13(5)
                      S. 7 excluded (E.W.) (1.7.2005 for certain purposes and 1.8.2005 otherwise) by Serious Organised Crime Act 2005 (c. 15), ss. 133(6) , 178; S.I. 2005/1521, arts. 3(1)(p) , 4(1)
                      S. 7 excluded (E.W.) (prosp.) by The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (c. 9), ss. 66(3), 68(1), Sch. 4 para. 12 (with ss. 27-29, 62)
                      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                        that is service of a claim NOT of notices
                        I realize that, but the same principle applies to delivery of other documents, surely?



                        Deemed Service
                        CPR 6.26


                        A document, other than a claim form, served in accordance with these Rules or any relevant practice direction is deemed to be served on the day shown in the following table –

                        Method of service
                        1. First class post (or other service which provides for delivery on the next business day)
                        Deemed date of service
                        The second day after it was posted, left with, delivered to or collected by the relevant service provider provided that day is a business day; or
                        if not, the next business day after that day.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          I realize that, but the same principle applies to delivery of other documents, surely?
                          The problem is that those rules relate to service of documents required to be served under the rules. A s21 notice is not a document to be served under the Civil Procedure Rules, it is a document covered by the Housing Act, and therefore a reference to CPR re service of s21 is not right.

                          Some judges will not take the point but some do. You would need to refer to the Interpretation Act or LPA to give the judge no room to be difficult.
                          PAUL GIBBS, solicitor, Jacobs & Reeves. My comments on this forum are correct to the best of my knowledge and belief. No responsibility or liability is accepted by reason of reliance upon such comments. This disclaimer would not apply to direct clients of Jacobs & Reeves where there is a valid retainer in place and I would be happy to confirm any advice if formally instructed. . Jacobs & Reeves now offer a fixed fee possession service.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Paul Gibbs View Post
                            The problem is that those rules relate to service of documents required to be served under the rules. A s21 notice is not a document to be served under the Civil Procedure Rules, it is a document covered by the Housing Act, and therefore a reference to CPR re service of s21 is not right.

                            Some judges will not take the point but some do. You would need to refer to the Interpretation Act or LPA to give the judge no room to be difficult.
                            Ah, okay, understood.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by westminster View Post
                              I realize that, but the same principle applies to delivery of other documents, surely?
                              Obvious points but:

                              1. Does the tenancy agreement have a notice provision? This will normally deal with what form and mode of notice is acceptable, and when it is deemed to have been delivered/served. A well drafted TA should containt his in the boiler plate clauses.

                              2. Careful when quoting the CPR as this, generally speaking, deals with service of court documents during court proceedings. OP is in the pre-litigation stage.

                              Comment

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