In a study of 200 instructions received from landlords and letting agents that had served their tenants their own legal notices (Section 8 and Section 21), it was found that 62% of these notices were ‘incorrect’. That is, due to a varying number of errors, they were either invalid or could be thrown out of court on a technicality. New notices would therefore have to be served, costing both time and money.
There were five major faults found that could lead to notices being invalidated: Incorrect expiry dates, failure to comply with deposit legislation, inaccurate accompanying rent arrears schedules, the method of how the notice was served, and typing errors on the notice.
The bulk of the errors are made by landlords who choose to serve the notices themselves in order to save money, but can end up spending more money due to delays and increased costs when trying to recover possession from a tenant. Letting agents fare better, but some of them still make mistakes.
Getting the notice right is arguably the most important part of a possession court case, as even minor mistakes can result in delays, stress, and loss of rent. A good letting agent, however, will always try to find good tenants to reduce the likelihood of having to serve eviction notices in the first place.
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