Here is a question to the blog clinic from Ally who is a tenant:
I am attempting to served a ‘notice to quit’ on my landlord but he will not sign for the ‘recorded delivery’ letter that contains it.
I find it curious because you often hear of landlords who can’t get rid their tenant’s, but you don’t hear of tenant’s that can’t get rid of their landlord !
What can anyone do about this ?
The first thing you need to do, whether you are a landlord trying to serve a tenant or (as here) a tenant trying to serve a landlord, is take a look and see what your tenancy agreement says about it.
If the tenancy agreement provides for service by recorded delivery, then you should be all right. You have done what you are supposed to and it is not your fault if the landlord refuses to accept delivery.
If the tenancy agreement is silent, then I would advise re-serving in a way that can be proved. As always the best method is to go to the landlords address and serve the notice by hand with an independent witness.
If no-one answers the door, it should be all right to serve by putting it through the letterbox.
Your tenancy agreement should contain an address for serving documents on the landlord which must be in England or Wales (s48 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987). If this has not been provided you have the right to withhold rent until it is. (See here for more information on that).
Mind you, it is possible that a Judge or maybe an adjudicator (if there is any question about the landlord retaining the deposit for rent in lieu of notice) might find that you had done sufficient to serve your notice – as it is not unreasonable for a tenant to serve by recorded delivery and its not your fault that the landlord refuses to accept delivery.
But always best to adopt a belt and braces approach.