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Northwood Solihull Ltd v Fearn & ors

Tuesday 18 January 2022

This is a second appeal.  The Claimant (Northwood Solihull Ltd) appeals from the order of Saini J dated 11/1/21 dismissing at para 2 the C’s cross appeal.

The present appeal is by the landlord and concerns the tenancy deposit.

Both parties appealed a decision of the circuit judge to the High Court. The tenants argued that the CJ had been wrong to find that the s.8 notice was valid and the landlord submitted that the CJ had been wrong to hold that the confirmatory certificate was invalid.

The High Court dismissed both appeals. As regards the s. 8 notice, he held that there was no requirement for landlord to personally sign the notice (whether landlord was individual or company), and there was no basis for holding that the prescriptive approach to how a company can execute a document applied to a notice seeking possession.

The C submits that the lower court judges erred and that this decision could affect new tenancies and renewals . The current state of the law exposes thousands of landlords to potential claims.

C submits that the judges had not appreciated that the changes to the Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007 were retrospective and proceeded in error on the basis that an agent could not sign the confirmation certificate.

The practice of taking a deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy is almost universal in the private rented sector; it is important that parties know whether s 44 Companies Act 2006 applies to such notices.

The 2nd Defendant appeals against the order made by Saini J dated 11/1/21 dismissing the D’s appeal from the order of HHJ Williams when he made a possession order.

The issue was whether the section 8 Housing Act Notice had been validly executed
since it purported to have been signed and served by R which is a company.

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2