Old Or New? Which Address Should Be Used For Service Of Notices?

In Grimes v The Trustees of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt [2017] EWCA Civ 361 the Court of Appeal held that a landlord's notice to quit was invalidly served because it had been delivered to the tenant's old address and not his new address as notified to the landlord.


The main issue in this appeal was whether notice to quit an agricultural holding was validly served on the tenant, Mr Terence Grimes, by his landlords, the Trustees of the Essex Farmers and Union Hunt (the "Landlord").

The facts are straightforward: Mr Grimes had farmed the 121 acre agricultural holding (the "Holding") as tenant of the Hunt under a succession of tenancy agreements. Mr Grimes lived at 24 Glebe Way, Burnham-on-Crouch until October 2005 when he moved to 44 Maple Way. In 2005 his tenancy agreement was renegotiated with two consecutive agreements, each for a three-year term, running until 30 September 2012. Mr Grimes' address in these agreements was recorded as Glebe Way, but when he made the first rental payment in December 2006 Mr Grimes sent a handwritten note to the Landlord advising of his change of address.

On 1 July 2011 the Landlord hand delivered a letter to 24 Glebe Way that gave notice to quit and required Mr Grimes to vacate the Holding by 30 September 2012.

Following unsuccessful negotiations for a new letting to Mr Grimes, the Landlord eventually granted a lease of the Holding to a new tenant with effect from 1 October 2012. Mr Grimes claimed that his tenancy had not been validly terminated on the grounds that the notice had been delivered to his old address and he claimed that he had been wrongfully dispossessed of the Holding and was entitled to damages.

The key issue turned on the true construction of a clause in the tenancy agreement, which provided that: "Either party may serve any notice (including any notice in proceedings) on the other at the address given in the Particulars or such other address as has previously been notified in writing".

First Instance

The Judge took a literal interpretation of the tenancy agreement and found that the notice was valid on the basis that a notice could validly be served either at the...

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