Notices and the Importance of getting them right

The recent High Court decision in Stodday Land Limited and Ripway Properties Limited V William Marsland Pye is an interesting decision in that it addresses the issue of the validity of a notice served upon a Tenant during the registration gap: namely the gap between completion of a sale of land and the registration by the purchaser at Land Registry as being the new owner.

The Facts

Mr Pye had been the tenant of a plot of agricultural land since circa 1950. In 2006 the land was purchased by a company called Stodday Land Limited (“Stodday”).

On the 19th June 2013 Stodday sold a small piece of the land to a company called Ripway Properties Limited (“Ripway”). Ripway were registered as owners at HM Land Registry on the 16th July 2016.

On the 1st July 2013 Mr Pye was served with two notices which effectively sought to terminate his tenancy. The First notice was from Ripway and was in respect of the small plot which they had purchased on the 19th June 2013. The Second notice was from Stodday seeking to terminate the tenancy in respect of the rest of the site which they owned.

Mr Pye said that both notices were invalid.

The County Court found in Mr Pye’s favour. The First notice was invalid because at the time that it was served Ripway was not the registered owner. The Second notice failed because at the time that it was served it did not refer to all of the land held by the tenant.

The Landlord Appealed. The Appeal was dismissed.

Conclusion

The service of a notice is a serious business. It is all too often treated too lightly and such carelessness can lead to expensive mistakes.

Prior to serving notices one must check the correct identity of the parties and comply with any other contractual or statutory requirements that the law may impose.

This article is for guidance only. It does not represent legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

27
Oct
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