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In Northwood Solihull Ltd v Fearn [2020] EWHC 3538 (QB); [2021] 1 W.L.R. 1937, the High Court held that when a notice seeking possession under s.8, Housing Act 1988 was served by or on behalf of a corporate landlord, it was not necessary for the landlord to sign the notice in accordance with s.44, Companies Act 2006 and it could, instead, be signed by any authorised human agent. By contrast, the tenancy deposit certificate required by virtue of Art.2(1)(g)(vii) of the Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007  did have to be signed by the landlord in accordance with s.44, 2006 Act and could not be signed by an agent of the landlord. One consequence of this latter finding is that numerous county court claims have been issued by tenants against landlords seeking damages under the Housing Act 2004 for a breach of the tenancy deposit provisions.

The Court of Appeal has granted the tenant permission to appeal the s.8 notice point and the landlord permission to appeal the deposit certification point, noting that the issue affects thousands of residential properties in England and Wales.

Justin Bates and Tom Morris are instructed by JMW Solicitors on behalf of the landlord in the Court of Appeal.

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