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  • Property Notices
Rights of Light, 3rd Edition Rights of Light, 3rd Edition


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Property Notices

Validity and Service


Definitive account of this important area of law.

The widely acclaimed Property Notices: Validity and Service provides the definitive account of the law relating to property notices. It contains a clear and practical guide to the legal principles governing whether a property notice is valid and whether it has been properly served. The importance of those principles for property lawyers cannot be over-stated: in the field of property law, rights are frequently exercised by the service of a notice and, for the party that has attempted to serve a notice (and perhaps its lawyers), the consequences of a finding that a notice is invalid may be disastrous.

 This new edition has been extensively revised and updated and includes commentary on:
 • The recent case law (including Ben Cleuch Estates Ltd v Scottish Enterprise, Prudential v Exel, Hexstone v Westlink, Hilmi v 20 Pembridge Villas, and MW Trustees v Telular)
 • The effect of a consensual “withdrawal” of a notice to quit or a break notice
 • The computation of time limits for the service of notices
 • Sections 17 and 18 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994
 • The law on waiver as it relates to notices

Property Notices: Validity and Service is the only work dedicated to this core area of practice and it is essential reading for all property lawyers.
  • Identifying the Requirements of a Valid Notice
  • The Interpretation of Notices
  • Common Issues
  • Waiver, Estoppel and the Withdrawal of Notices
  • Service at Common Law
  • Service Pursuant to Contractual Provisions
  • Methods of Service Authorised by Statute
  • Appendices
  • Index

Identifying the Requirements of a Valid Notice:
 The ‘two-stage approach’, The policy of upholding notices that achieve their purpose, ‘Mandatory requirements’ and ‘directory requirements’ , Statutory notices, Examples of requirements of notices that have been held to be directory (ie where non-compliance with the requirement has been held not to invalidate a notice), Contractual notices, ‘Formal requirements’, Requirements merely to convey a particular meaning, ‘Formal requirements’, The significance of the distinction between requirements to convey a particular meaning and ‘formal requirements’, Prescribed forms and forms ‘substantially to the like effect’ etc, The general approach of the court: does the inaccuracy or omission go to the substance of the notice?, The omission of material that would have been irrelevant to the actual recipient, It is irrelevant whether the actual recipient was, in fact, prejudiced, The adoption of a version of a prescribed form that has been superseded, Inaccuracies in ‘particulars’

 The Interpretation of Notices:
the general principles for interpreting documents, The decision in Mannai Investment v Eagle Star, The facts of Mannai Investment, The interpretation of the break clause, The interpretation of the notice, Contractual and statutory notices fall to be interpreted in the same way, The ‘reasonable recipient’ would have to be in no doubt, The test is objective: it is irrelevant how the recipient or the server interpreted a notice, The server’s subjective interpretation of a notice is irrelevant, The actual recipient’s subjective interpretation of a notice is irrelevant, The ‘objective contextual scene’ against which notices fall to be interpeted, Covering letters, Other notices, Rent demands and litigation, Matters of which the server and/or recipient were unaware (including material in the public domain), The non-factual background, Would a reasonable recipient have had legal advice?, Types of ‘defect’ amenable to the reasoning in Mannai Investment
Common Issues: 

 Is a written notice required?, Fraudulent statements, Proposals and requests, The server’s motivation Signatures, What is a signature?, Signatures in covering letters, Signatures of agents, Signatures of companies, Notices served ‘without prejudice’ to a previous notice, Notices served ‘subject to contract’ or ‘without prejudice’, Inconsistencies, Ascertaining when a notice is required to be served, Provisions apparently requiring service of a notice on a particular date, Provisions specifying a period during which a notice must be served, Provisions requiring service ‘not less than’ a specified period before an event, Consequence of missing a deadline for the service of a notice, The usual rule, Rent review notices, Specification of the date of expiry of a notice, The identity of the correct server and recipient, Legal proprietors, An apparent exception to the general rule: service of a notice to quit following the death of the tenant, Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994, s 18, Joint owners, The correct server of a notice where a legal estate is jointly owned, The general rule: notices must be served by, or on behalf of, all of any joint owners , An exception to the general rule: notices to quit, Another exception to the general rule: Agricultural Holdings Act 1923, s 12, The identity of the recipient of a notice where an estate in land is vested in joint owners, Misidentification of the server, Notices identifying an agent as the server, Misidentification of the recipient, Law of Property(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994, s 17(1)
Waiver, Estoppel and the Withdrawal of Notices:

waiver and estoppel, Loss of a right to serve, or to rely upon, a notice, Loss of a right to object to the fact that no notice has been served, Loss of a right to dispute the validity of a notice, Loss by a recipient of an entitlement to dispute the validity of a notice, Invalid method of service, Service by the wrong person, Service after a contractual deadline, Incorrect date for the expiry of a notice, Defective contents, Loss by the server of a right to dispute the validity of a notice, Limitations on the application of estoppel and waiver, An estoppel cannot be used as ‘a sword’ to create a cause of action, Public policy may prevent a waiver or an estoppel from defeating a statutory right, Withdrawal of notices, Consensual ‘withdrawal’ or ‘retraction’ of a notice to quit or a break notice

Service at Common Law :
 Service by the person entitled to serve the notice (or his agent), Service by agents, Service by sub-agents, Ratification by the principal, ‘Validation’ by the acquisition by the server of an invalid notice of an interest that would have entitled him to serve the notice, Service on the recipient (or his agent), A notice must be received by, or come to the attention of, the recipient, The presumed sequence in which notices are deemed to have been served, Service on an agent of the recipient, Solicitors, Managing agents and the like, Servants, Rent collectors, Service on a recipient incapable of understanding a notice, ‘Indirect’ service and the misidentification of the principal, The same person as the server and the recipient

Service Pursuant to Contractual Provisions: 
 Methods of service, ‘By post’, At the recipient’s ‘last known address’, Consequences of failing to adopt a contractual method of service
Methods of Service Authorised by Statute:
 Introduction, The purpose of statutory methods of service, Human rights, The statutory provisions do not exhaustively prescribe how notices can be served, Can the statutory provisions relating to service be used ‘as an engine of fraud’?, Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994, ss 17 and 18, Section 17: Server unaware of death, Section 18: Service prior to the grant of representation, Law of Property Act 1925, s 196, To what types of notice does s 196 apply?, (i) Notices required or authorised by the Law of Property Act 1925 to be served, (ii) Notices required to be served by any instrument affecting property executed or coming into operation after the commencement of [the Law of Property Act 1925] unless a contrary indication appears, The methods of service authorised by the Law of Property Act 1925, s 196, (i) Leaving the notice at the last-known place of abode or business
in the United Kingdom of the person to be served, (ii) Affixing or leaving a notice at demised or mortgaged premises, or the office or counting-house of a mine, (iii) Sending the notice by registered post or recorded delivery, Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, s 23, To what notices does the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, s 23 apply?, Methods of service authorised by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, s 23,(i) Personal service, (ii) Leaving the notice at the recipient’s last known place of abode in England and Wales, (iii) Sending the notice by registered post or recorded delivery, (iv) Service upon the landlord’s predecessor in title, Methods of service not exhaustive, Service on the agent of a tenant, The relationship between the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, s 23(1) and the Interpretation Act 1978, s 7, The Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, s 93, Methods of service authorised by the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, s 93, (i) Delivering the notice to the recipient, (ii) Leaving the notice at the recipient’s proper address, (iii) Sending the notice to the recipient by post in a registered letter or by the recorded delivery service, Service on agents and servants, Change of landlord, agricultural Tenancies Act 1995, s 36 150, Methods of service authorised by the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995, s 36, Other statutes

 Directory of Authorities About Property Notices Referred to in the Text, Common law property notices (other than landlord and tenant notices), Common law landlord and tenant notices, Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act 1920, Agricultural Holdings Act 1923, Agricultural Holdings Act 1948, Housing Repairs and Rents Act 1954, Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, Leasehold Reform Act 1967, Agricultural Holdings (Notices to Quit) Act 1977, Rent Act 1977, Housing Act 1980, Agricultural Holdings Act 1986, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, Housing Act 1988, Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, Appendix 2, Mannai Investment Co Ltd v Eagle Star Life Assurance Co Ltd

"Well written and clearly explains the important principles .... for anyone practising in this area of law, it is an important and vital text. It clearly explains the key principles in a logical and accessible way ... an extremely practical and useful text for anyone needing to serve or advise on property notices"
Student Law Journal
“To the property litigator (or other professional) preparing and serving property notices, this is a “must have” book. It fills an obvious gap on the shelf. It will repay its cost time and time again ... Insurers would do well to consider issuing this book free of cost of their insured. It would save them a packet.”
Landlord and Tenant Review
“...an informative and authoritative account of a topic of undoubted practical significance.”

  Conveyancer and Property Lawyer

“Whether the reader has a commercial, enfranchisement or housing practice, this book is a must and deserves the ringing endorsement provided by Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury [in the foreword to the first edition].”
 Journal of Housing Law
"The publication of a second edition (more than three years after the publication of the first edition) serves two main purposes. First, the text has been updated to refer to significant new authorities. The recession, and the collapse of the property market, has meant that many of those cases have concerned disputes over the validity of tenant’s break notices. Secondly, I have included commentary on several matters not dealt with in the first edition but which merit inclusion: including, the principles relating to the waiver of defects in notices; the rule that a consensual ‘withdrawal’ of a notice to quit or break notice creates a new tenancy; the law relating to the computation of time for the service of a notice; and the service of notices under ss 17–18 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1994."
 Tom Weekes in the Preface to the 2nd Edition
"[I]t is highly desirable, from the point of view of those with interests in property and the professionals advising them, that there is a book which is devoted to the topic, and which provides a clear and full explanation of the principles and the problems in a way that is systematically structured and easy to find one’s way through. Tom Weekes has now written such a book, and he is to be congratulated for having done so. If you have a problem on which you need guidance and to which there is an answer, there are, to my mind, three requirements of a book such as this. First, the answer should be included in the book; secondly, you should be able to find it reasonably easily; and, thirdly, it should be comprehensibly dealt with. This book appears to me to pass all three tests."
 Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury in the Foreword to the First Edition
Tom Weekes, 
Barrister Landmark Chambers

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