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Court of Appeal rules in landmark eviction caseCourt of Appeal rules in landmark eviction case

A key judgment from the Court of Appeal, announced today, is reported to have gone in favour of landlords and letting agents.

The Northwood Solihull v Fearn/Cooke/Ors case came about as a result of the Solihull branch of lettings agency Northwood using a Section 8 notice to evict a couple who had stopped paying rent in 2019. 

The tenants - Mr Fearn and Ms Cooke - argued that their eviction notice had not been signed by two authorised signatories or by a company director in the presence of a witness. The couple contended this breached section 44 of the Companies Act 2006.


High Court judges ruled that this law did not apply to eviction notices, but did uphold the couple’s claim that it applied to a confirmatory certificate for a rental deposit.

Northwood’s legal representative argued that even having a second signature would have done nothing to improve the tenants’ position. 

Today - with the case elevated to the Court of Appeal - judges gave their final verdict on the case against the tenants.

This means that a single authorised employee of a landlord or letting agent can sign a section 8 notice or section 21 notice or a tenancy deposit certificate without fear of legal repercussions.

It had been feared that a contrary finding - that two signatures were required - would have triggered claims against landlords and agents.

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    What a country we live in. 🙄

  • James B

    Unfkingbelievable 🙄

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    This is another example, of which there are many, of the law completely losing sight of why it is there in the first place. It is fast becoming a farce.

  • Roger  Mellie

    It's interesting how Section 44(2) of the companies act 2006 has a hand in this because I doubt any agent is aware of the need for conformity when signing documents. Fortunately now, with applications like DocuSign, it's easier to get the landlord to sign rather than directors of the limited company, which frankly is ludicrous in the first place.

  • Matthew Payne

    Common sense prevails, good to see the Judges exercising their authority to interpret the law and not allow tenuous technicalities to circumavigate its intention.

  • Tom Soane

    In a world where a tenant can live in a property at someone else's expense and then argue that they've been treated unfairly because two people from the managing agent didn't sign the section notice. Keeping in mind that the letting agent is also not being paid all the time the tenant is avoiding the payment of their rent and the letting agent is also required to put extra time, manpower and resources into managing this tenant. I don't know the tenant's circumstances but I'm a letting agent and I can guess the type of person being dealt with here. There are some despicable people in this world.

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    Someone please remind me who is bankrolling the tenants.

    Roger  Mellie

    I don't believe they've been paying the rent. So probably the landlord in an indirect way!

  • Simon Shinerock

    Shelter will be very disappointed, as will the Corbyn’s

  • Angus Shield

    Hooray for common sense; are soon-to-become-extinct virtue in the forums of wokedom!


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