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Getting Notices Right

Getting Notices Right

Think of this scenario.  You are a landlord (or acting for a landlord) and you send a notice to a tenant to trigger a rent review procedure.  You get the company name roughly correct, but ultimately wrong.  However, the notice ends up in the hands of the right party – a director of the tenant company – and the notice clearly identifies the property.  You might think everything would be okay...but it won’t be...

Last week the Inner House of the Court of Session reaffirmed that, when it comes to such notices, they must be properly addressed, or the notice will be invalid.  In the case of West Dunbartonshire Council v William Thompson and Son (Dumbarton) Limited, the council had sent the review notice to Wm Thompson & Sons Ltd” instead of “William Thompson and Son (Dumbarton) Limited”.  The court left open the possibility that an obvious mis-spelling (e.g. using “&” instead of “and”) might be okay, but in this case it was not even close to that scenario.  The court confirmed that it does not matter if the notice ends up in the right hands, or that the receiving party would know what was intended.  If the fundamental part (e.g. the name of the recipient) is wrong – then there will be no way of rescuing it. 

Another warning that great care should be taken when sending notices!

Stephen Farrell
Senior Solicitor