When asked for our address we do not give an address from which we moved five years earlier, however, it is surprising how often an address is not kept up to date and this can have surprising consequences in law. 

If one owns property that is registered at the Land Registry the address of the proprietor of the property is shown in the proprietorship register at the Land Registry. 

If the owner moves somewhere else and retains ownership of the property and fails to inform the Registry of the new address then if the Land Registry have to serve a formal notice on the owner (because someone is seeking to claim possessory “squatters” title or a hostile notice is sought to be registered) the Registry will serve notice of such an application at the address or addresses shown on the proprietorship register with the effect that the owner never receives notice and in some instances failure by the owner to reply or object to the notice can result in those who have applied for possessory title or to register a hostile notice being successful. 

If a valid current address is not capable of being used or accessed because, for example, of fire or some other damage, the Post Office should be alerted to redirect all mail sent to that address to another address.  

The same can apply where the registered office of a company is not kept up to date and the officers of the company just do not know a notice has been served at the registered office address (which can sometimes be the address of a firm of accountants who may have ceased to function as such). We have all received greetings cards for people who had previously lived at our home address who have long since moved away and whilst that is unfortunate, the legal consequences of matters referred to above can be very unfortunate and expensive. 

In some commercial leases time is an issue as one can still find (although most properly advised tenants will not accept a lease on these terms) in rent review provisions that the landlord to implement a rent review is obliged to serve a notice on the tenant stating what rent the landlord proposes from the review date and the review clause stipulates that if the tenant does not serve on the landlord a counter notice objecting to the proposed figure within say a month of receipt of the notice, then the rent stated in the original notice becomes the rent payable on rent review (the landlord’s proposed figure is often well above the actual market rental value). 

Further on the subject of commercial leases if a landlord serves a notice on the tenant under the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Part II) which purports to bring the tenancy to an end on a date stated in the notice, it is important that such a notice is not ignored as if the tenant fails to read the same or places the envelope (as has happened) in a glove compartment of the tenant’s car the same can be forgotten and in that instance the tenant lost its right to a new tenancy because it did not respond to the notice in time. 

If you have property interests, please do keep the above in mind and look at any notices or envelopes that you receive as soon as possible and please ask a firm of solicitors what a notice received from the Land Registry or their landlord (not being that firm’s client) means if you are in any way unsure.