0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Pease v Carter and another [2020] EWCA Civ 176

7 April 2020

An error in a statutory notice served under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 was saved by the application of the ‘Mannai’ principle.

Facts

A landlord (L) served a notice on his tenants (T) under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (the 1988 Act) giving notice of proceedings for possession. Under section 8, the earliest date for when proceedings may begin must be specified in the notice and this cannot be earlier than two weeks from the date the notice is served.

The notice was given on 7 November 2018 but mistakenly said that court proceeding would not begin before 26 November 2017.

The County Court determined that L’s defective notice could not be saved by applying the reasonable recipient test in Mannai Investment Co Ltd v Eagle Star Life Assurance Co Ltd [1997] UKHL 19 (the Mannai principle). Under the Mannai principle, minor defects in a notice will not invalidate the notice if the reasonable recipient, with knowledge of the factual and contextual background, would not be misled by the error.

Issue

Did the Mannai principle apply to save L’s defective notice?

Decision

L’s notice should be construed in accordance with the Mannai principle. In this case, given that the covering letter with the notice had referred to the correct date, the reasonable recipient would appreciate that L had intended to say that proceedings would not be commenced before 26 November 2018 and had simply made an obvious error in his notice. The notice was therefore valid.

Point to note/consider

Whilst the Mannai case related to a defective contractual notice (a break notice), there is authority that the principle can be extended to statutory notices. However, that will only be the case if the notice complies with the strict requirements of the relevant statutory provision. That was the basis on which the Court of Appeal was able to distinguish this case from an earlier 2003 case which had held that the Mannai principle did not apply to a notice served under the 1988 Act. In that 2003 case, the notice given had to specify as a date for possession the last day of a period of the tenancy and had got that date wrong (the notice required possession on 4 January 2003, whereas the last day of the period was 3 January).

In this case, a reasonable recipient would not construe the notice as it read because the date specified was an impossibility and inconsistent with covering correspondence. The Mannai principle could correct the notice and the notice would then comply with the relevant statutory requirement.

focus on...

Legal updates

Electronic signatures in conveyancing

On 9 July the Land Registry published draft guidance setting out the basis on which it will accept for registration transfers (and certain other deeds) that have been signed electronically.

View

Legal updates

Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent Ltd [2020] UKSC 18

A landlord in a block of flats breached a mutual enforcement obligation by licensing one flat tenant to carry out alterations where there was an absolute prohibition against those alterations.

View

Legal updates

Dreams Ltd v Pavilion Property Trustees Ltd and another [2020] EWHC 1169 (Ch)

Whilst a failure by a tenant to pay damages for dilapidations was not a condition of completion of an agreement to surrender a lease, a failure by the tenant to deliver vacant possession was.

View

Legal updates

Cardtronics UK Ltd and others v Sykes and others (Valuation Officers) [2020] UKSC 21

The Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision that the sites of ATMs both inside and outside of shops should not be separately assessed for business rates.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

David Harris

David Harris

Professional Development Lawyer

View profile

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up