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Commonsense Prevails.....For Once, Appeal Court Win in Northwood Solihull v Fearn & Ors

A landmark case in the court of appeal has confirmed a point of law that could have caused agents and landlords tremendous headaches if it had been lost.
The case was brought by the tenants who has been served with a possession notice based on a section 8 notice by the agent. Both the section 8 eviction notice and the deposit certificate had only one authorised signature, whereas the tenants claimed section 44 of the Companies Act 2006 required two authorised signatures by two directors or one director whose signature is witnessed.
Propertymark commented: "The Court decided that where a corporate landlord or agent is completing certain statutory forms including a Section 8 Notice, such documents do not have to be ‘executed’ in accordance with the formalities set out in Section 44 of the Companies Act 2006. The decision by the Court of Appeal brings much needed clarity to a long-disputed area of the law and is a victory for common sense, which agents will welcome. The retrospective judgement from the High Court dangled the possibility for ramifications for the sector with a significant number of claims against agents."
 
Propertymark contributed to the costs of the appeal by the landlord as they considered the case of vital importance to agents and landlords when they serve notices on tenants. The judgement does however go much wider and the same rational will surely apply to virtually every notice prepared for a corporate landlord, from Section 21 Notices to rent increase notices and even notices to quit.

 If the appeal has been lost the possibility arose that all notices served by landlords and agents could be called into question retrospectively by the tenant. Good to see that common sense has won through on the day in this long running matter.