Service Of Letters - proof?

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    #31
    Will email addresses ever be used for service?

    Jeffrey: is there any prospect in the near future of email addresses being used as service addresses in landlord/tenant law?

    Seeing as the legal profession has been the slowest of all professions/industries to embrace the electronic age (I am sure there are some good reasons why, but I think plenty of old fuddy-duddy ones too) I think I know the answer to this question, but I thought I would ask nevertheless.

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      #32
      Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
      Jeffrey: is there any prospect in the near future of email addresses being used as service addresses in landlord/tenant law?

      Seeing as the legal profession has been the slowest of all professions/industries to embrace the electronic age (I am sure there are some good reasons why, but I think plenty of old fuddy-duddy ones too) I think I know the answer to this question, but I thought I would ask nevertheless.
      I think it has to come down to fairness. Whilst any risk in the service of notices is apportioned to the recipient and any contractual provision may provide for circumstances where a notice is deemed to have been served though not actually received, the aim of the law has to be ensure that the recipient stands a sporting chance of receiving the notice. Whatever may be thought of the postal service, the fact is that well over 99% of correctly addressed letters (as well as a significant proportion of incorrectly addressed ones) reach their destination. Until it can be shown that the chances of an email being delivered to the recipient are as high and that everyone checks their emails as regularly as they check their doormats, I think there will be a reluctance to accept emails as a valid method of service.

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        #33
        True, and in any case most 'Service' rules are prescribed by law (e.g. the Civil Procedure Rules, introduced only in the last few years- so by no means either antiquated or the responsibility of solicitors/barristers).
        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).

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          #34
          I had a case a while back where the tenant was denying receipt of notices. I had served them personally (on behalf of a client - not one of my own properties.

          I asked the judge for permission to ask the tenant a couple of questions.

          1. What is the colour of your front door? (Answer blue)
          2. Whereabouts is the number of the house? (Answer, middle of the door)
          3. Where is your letterbox? (bottom of door)

          4 - and lastly - is this a picture of your front door? (errr - yes)

          Sir - (to the judge) I took a picture of the defendants front door at the same time as I served the notice which is shown on the photo as half-in-half-out of the letterbox and after taking the photograph, I shoved the envelope right in.

          Judge - that is good service - in fact, very good service. Possession order 14 days and judgment for £x unpaid rent and £100 court fee.

          Defendant - can I have more time for hardship?

          Judge - No.

          You have to be on the ball for every trick nowadays!!!!!

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            #35
            nice one DJB.

            I must add that to my bag of tricks. It's been suggested also that one poses a newspaper showing the date in the picture, to prove it was shoved through the letter box on that date.

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              #36
              But, how do you prove that there was anything in the envelope? Or, does the court just assume that there was something in the envelope other than air? And that something was indeed what you claimed it to be? Any answers anyone?
              ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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                #37
                Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                But, how do you prove that there was anything in the envelope? Or, does the court just assume that there was something in the envelope other than air? And that something was indeed what you claimed it to be? Any answers anyone?
                Surely that comes down to balance of probabilities.... LL can prove that a letter was delivered on a certain day and says it was an S21 or whatever; whereas T denies having received anything at all. And what reason would the LL have for posting an envelope containing anything other than what it should contain?

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                  #38
                  On one side of the table is a landlord whose paperwork is in apple pie order, who can show that the arrears he is claiming are accurate, has bank statements to prove it if need be, has served notice properly and taken care to provide some evidence that (accepting the empty envelope point above) something was delivered to the tenant on x day and says that it was a S21 or S8 notice as exhibited.

                  On the other side is a tenant who denies some or all of the arrears. Cannot produce receipts or paying in book stamped to show bank payments, denies receipt of the S21 or S8 notice, thinks the landlord has unfairly taken him/her to court and arrears are several months.

                  Now, you are the judge - who do you believe??????

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                    #39
                    Originally posted by Paragon View Post
                    But, how do you prove that there was anything in the envelope? Or, does the court just assume that there was something in the envelope other than air? And that something was indeed what you claimed it to be? Any answers anyone?
                    To combat this question, we can start to film the serving of notices, with the server showing the notice letter close up to the camera so all the details of the notice are clear (along with a copy of that day's paper too), then putting the notice in an envelope, which is addressed to the tenants, again shown up to the camera and then inserting the envelope into the letter box of the door numbered X as well as a clear picture of the door and surrounding area.

                    I would then continue filming to a point in the street where the street name is shown (or this could be done from the start of the filming too).

                    You can also do the same for a letter put into a postbox again with that day's newspaper also recorded.

                    Under this scenario, I would defy anyone to claim the notice was not served (or any other letter etc., for that matter).

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                      #40
                      Thanks all for your comments. Hairy - your scenario is along the lines of my thoughts as well. However, I would probably just have a couple of witnesses who would be willing to sign an affidavit that they saw the said contents go into the envelope and subsequently went with me and monitored the delivery of the envelope either to the post office for recorded delivery or to its final intended destination by personal delivery.
                      This wasn't just a question re: LL vs. Tenants but for any relationship where there needs to be proof of delivery.
                      ASSUME NOTHING - QUESTION EVERYTHING!

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                        #41
                        Originally posted by HairyLandlord View Post
                        Under this scenario, I would defy anyone to claim the notice was not served (or any other letter etc., for that matter).
                        Don't try serving a notice on Derren Brown though; I'm sure he'd get round it...

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