Important Information for Corporate Letting Agents

There have been challenges in the County Courts where S21 notices are routinely signed by staff members on behalf of their landlords. The Companies Act 2006 has strict rules regarding signing statutory documents on behalf of another and as a result this is causing problems with the S21 notices being rejected as invalid as they were not executed in line with the legislation.

However if a staff member has been authorised by the landlord to sign notices on their behalf and they clearly identify themselves as the signatory on the notice it is felt that this would mean the staff member was acting as a personal agent of the landlord rather than the agency.

It is worth noting that these decisions have only been reached in the County Courts so therefore have no bearing on other parts of the judicial system. However we would suggest that any incorporated agencies put practices in place to cover this situation.

For new instructions or reinstructions we would suggest your Terms of Business are amended to provide a section on serving S21 notices which includes the provision for the landlord to give authority to named staff members to sign and deliver notices. It would be sensible to name more than one staff member in the event of holidays, sickness etc.  For existing landlords the request for authority for named personnel to sign the notices can be emailed out, however you should request that the landlord signs and returns the authority to you rather than relying on silence as authority.