N215 to confirm notice served

Leo, do you believe that the differing opinion of this landlords solicitor is a one-off or might their be other solicitors with this view? If so, and given the severity of the consequences in this case, will you be making any changes to the s21 tool to head-off possible future problems for customers?

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David, I have followed this up with our legal team and they have said that the S21 tool correctly serves the notice and there is nothing that can be done to improve on this.
The solicitor was requiring further evidence of service in the form of a certificate of service signed by OpenRent. This is unnecessary as the landlord or solicitor can sign this themselves. They also have valid evidence of the notice being served as the Landlord is cc’d into the email attaching the notice and this is sufficient evidence to be used in court.

Interestingly, a quick trawl through the Internet in relation to serving a notice by email throws up a number of legal and specialist websites urging caution. They mostly suggest that although its probably valid with prior written tenant consent, it is open to challenge and should probably only be used as a back-up to other methods of service. This may be enough uncertainty for many lawyers provided through landlords insurance to recommend against continuing to the insurer.

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How are you getting on with this @Kerryn ?

Hi helpful fellow landlords, I submitted the paperwork to the county court myself on 28th June. I have received no defence from the tenant (as expected) so I am expecting/hoping to be granted the possession order next week.

The solicitor refused to budge on their position and instead offered to resubmit a section 21 notice on my behalf with the requisite additional 2 months notice period which I find wholly unacceptable.

Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, @LeoP I would point out that this situation is highly likely to arise again, where an insurance-appointed solicitor will insist on the same course of action or refuse to go ahead with the claim, therefore this is a fundamental flaw in your service and should be re-examined as a matter of urgency.

@David122 it is indeed a clause in the contract that notice can be served via email, perfectly legitimately (hence OR’s notice serving tool online) and if solicitors are taking issue with it, where does the fault lie? I will be formally complaining to OR, the insurance company and the associated law firm, when I have the time and energy and hope this thread serves as a warning to others.

If I had known I would end up making the court claim myself, I could have done it an entire month sooner, without all the back-and-forth and solicitors delays, and potentially already have the house back. I’m hoping the tenants will be out by the end of the month and I’m making plans to get it on the market straight away. And here ends my career as a landlord. Good luck everyone and thanks again for your help!

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The issue here may be the email address its sent from. My understanding is that a notice is only valid by email if it comes from either the landlord or their agent’s email address. In this case, OR would be acting as the agent, so it should be fine, but the solicitor may have wanted confirmation in writing from OR that they are acting as agent and the email came from their address in order to head-off any challenge at court.

I guess we will have to wait and see if this is a problem for other landlords, but one option might be for the tool to CC the landlord into the email and for the landlord to send a second copy from their email address.

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