Court of Appeal dismisses landlord’s appeal in Welsh Section 8 Notice Case
The Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the case of Jarvis v Evans & Evans (B5/2019/2258) on Tuesday 7 July 2020. The Court ruled unanimously that serving a notice under s.8 Housing Act 1988 is a property management activity under s.7 of The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) and a notice served in breach of s.7 of the 2014 Act is invalid.
The Court’s decision will be welcomed by tenants’ representatives and will have wide ranging consequences for the private rented sector in Wales. It confirms that an unlicensed landlord in breach of the 2014 Act cannot serve a valid s.8 notice. Lord Justice Newey, Lord Justice Baker and Lord Justice Hickenbottom, decided that the wording of section 7(2)(f) of the 2014 Act extends to the service of a notice under s.8 of the Housing Act 1988 and that a s.8 notice served in breach of the 2014 Act is invalid. However, this would not prevent an unlicensed landlord from arranging for an authorised agent to serve a s.8 notice on his behalf, such as a solicitor.
Anthony Gold acted for the landlord, supported by the National Residential Landlords’ Association. Justin Bates and Kimberley Ziya of Landmark Chambers represented the landlord before the Court of Appeal.
Sarah Cummins and Nikki Basin, solicitors at Anthony Gold who acted for the landlord commented as follows on the judgment:
“The Court of Appeal has now answered the question of whether a landlord in Wales can validly serve a section 8 notice when they are not licensed pursuant to the requirements of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. This is a question that had been troubling the county courts and the Court’s judgment has therefore provided clarification on an issue that is of great importance for tenancies in Wales. The decision confirms that there are both civil and criminal consequences for breaches of s.7 of 2014 Act and that the restriction on serving possession notices is not limited to section 21 notices.”
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