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Blurry signature loses eviction appeal for landlord
25 May 2016
A tenant has had a possession order stayed because of an illegible signature and wrong name on deposit protection paperwork.
A judge at Lambeth County Court agreed the case was decided on a minor technical point but told the company landlord that a deposit protection certificate was not completed in line with company law.
The ruling came in the case of Bali v Manaquel Company.
Lawyers for the tenant pointed out that the certificate was in the name of Manaquel Co Ltd instead of Manaquel Company and was signed on behalf of the company with a signature that could not be read.
Company law states that a document is only executed if completed with the right company name and signed either by two authorised people or a director whose signature is witnessed by someone else.
The judge decided the certificate was not executed because the signature could not be read and the company name was not included in full. As a result, prescribed information about deposit protection was incorrectly served.
The judge rejected a second claim that the company failed to serve the prescribed information because a Deposit Protection Service leaflet for tenants was not given to Bali.
The company had served a copy of the terms and conditions in the leaflet, which the judge said was good enough as they covered the information elsewhere in the leaflet.
The possession order was stayed for seven days to give the company an opportunity to appeal.
The case also raises issues over who should sign prescribed information papers and other official documents for letting agents trading as limited companies.
One suggestion is that serving the provider’s deposit protection leaflet for tenants is easier than serving just part of the document.