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Call of the week – The unsigned notice

Call of the week
Landlord Advice
Written by Landlord Advice

The RLA’s Landlord Advice Team is on hand to offer free unlimited advice to members. Each week, we are featuring a call from one of our members outlining their problems and how the team helped them.

The team recently received a call from an anxious member relating to an eviction case.

Two months earlier the landlord had instructed her agent to serve a section 21(1) notice on the tenant. The agent did this by delivering it to the property but they had left the section 21 unsigned. The landlord had failed to notice this at the time and only saw it as she was preparing the court papers for accelerated possession.

The call taker asked the landlord whether or not the deposit had been protected? It had within 30 days of receipt. She had also served all the prescribed information to the tenant as part of her Depositguard tenancy agreement and given the tenant a copy of the deposit certificate as well.

The Advice Team Member then checked the dates were in order and the section 21(1) notice gave more than 2 months’ notice and ended on the last day of the tenancy. Everything about the notice was perfect except for the signature being missing.

Luckily, he could point the landlord to a case in 2007, Barker v Hands, where the judge had found that the notice was still valid despite not being signed. As such, this section 21 notice should also still be valid.

Satisfied with the answer, the member decided to use our own court form filling service to make sure everything was correct in her accelerated possession application.

Rupinder Aujla, Advice Team Manager said: “This is great news to share with our members. The Landlord Advice Team was able to help the member with the court form completion service that we provide at a cost of £150 and provided the case law to help put the member at ease, so that she could proceed to the possession stage without a signature on the notice.”

About the author

Landlord Advice

Landlord Advice

On-demand phone support from our landlord advisors is a big feature of RLA membership and is seen by many of our members as the most important service we offer. You can call the team in total confidence and be assured that the advice you'll receive is friendly, pertinent, up-to-date and practical.

Access to the advice team is FREE for all RLA Members.


  • Is it not the case though that a Section 21 Notice CAN only be signed by either the Landlord or a Solicitor. An agent does NOT have the authority to sign the notice. A point which might also be clarified.

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