A practical approach to hand-delivering notices
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that a notice that was hand delivered to a receptionist then emailed to the building owner was validly served.
Broadly speaking, for notices which are delivered by hand to be validly served the notice should be given to a person with authority to receive it. Here the notice was given to the building receptionist who was employed by the building management company and not the building owner. Therefore, the notice was not served on an authorised person.
The receptionist then scanned the notice and emailed it to the building owner meaning the building owner did not receive the notice by paper form but by email. Email is largely recognised in the English legal system as not being a valid method of serving a notice.
However, the Supreme Court said that the notice was validly served. It seems they considered the case from a practical perspective as the building owner did actually receive the notice.
Despite this case, it is important to consider the statutory provisions for a notice to be validly served and to comply with these. It is also worth bearing this decision in mind if you are the recipient of a notice which has not been validly served. It is possible that following this case the courts may opt for a practical approach and look at whether the notice was actually received.
Top tip If you receive a legal notice it is a good idea to seek legal advice.
For Commercial Property advice, please contact Christopher Sykes, Head of Commercial Property.