Creating a communication agreement

Last updated: 20 February 2018

A landlord and tenant should agree how they want to contact each other if they need to send something, such as a legal notice.

A legal notice could be:

  • a Rent Increase Notice
  • a Notice to Leave
  • a notice to a landlord that you're taking them to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber)

You can agree to send these:

  • as a paper letter that you can give by hand
  • by recorded delivery
  • by email

Why you should do this

The Tribunal can say a legal notice was received if you follow an agreed way of sending it. This can be the case even if someone says they didn't get the notice.

If you need to prove someone got a notice you sent, it will help if:

  • you've agreed a way to send a legal notice
  • this agreed way is in your written tenancy terms
  • you've sent it by the agreed way
  • you have appropriate evidence, for example read receipt, proof of postage or signature of delivery receipt

The Tribunal may not see a legal notice as being received if you don't do this.

Your options

Landlords and tenants should agree to contact each other by one of the following options:

  • by email, using the previously agreed email address
  • paper letter, which can go either in the post (recorded delivery post) or be given by hand (in person)

Choosing email

Landlords and tenants should decide if email is the best way to send notices. If email isn't often checked, something like a legal notice might be missed.

If you agree to send things by email, a legal notice can be seen as being received if it's sent to the email address previously agreed. This means that if you change the email address, but don't tell your landlord, you might still be seen as having received a legal notice.

Extra time added to email and post options

When a legal notice is sent by email or recorded delivery post, an extra 2 days should be added to the notice period. This is to allow time for delivery.

This applies both when a tenant is sending a notice to their landlord, or when a landlord is sending a notice to their tenant.

Example timescale

If three months' notice needs to be given for a rent increase to take place on the 31 August, it would have the following timescale:

  • by post or by email — it should be posted or emailed no later than 28 May
  • by hand — it should be delivered no later than 30 May