Panayi and Pyrkos v Roberts: CA 1993

A shorthold tenancy notice was issued before the tenancy began, but it gave the wrong date for termination.
Held: The prescribed form required the correct termination date. A notice with a wrong date is not substantially the same as one with a correct date. The tenancy was therefore not an assured shorthold tenancy, and the section 20 notice was ineffective to terminate the tenancy. ‘There is a statutory pre-condition that a notice should have been served in the prescribed form. The prescribed form requires for completion a specification of the date on which the tenancy in respect of which a notice is served both commences and ends. The narrow issue is whether a notice which gives a wrong date (here a termination) is ‘substantially to the same effect’ as one which gives the correct date. Authority and an evident error apart, I find it difficult to say that it was. By ‘evident error’ I mean an error which would have been evident to a person with the ordinary qualities of the addressee. I would exclude a quality of obtuseness as being extraordinary. The writing of ‘1793’ for ‘1993’ would be an evident error. The writing in this case of ‘May’ rather than ‘November’ in my judgment would be a perplexity rather than an evident error to an ordinary recipient proposing and taking a tenancy of [and then the name of the property is given] …’ and ‘A notice with an incorrect date is not substantially to the same effect as a notice with the correct date, and in this case the mistake was not obvious.’ and ‘I wish to give no encouragement to arguments which are based on what were described to us as ‘slips of the pen’ and which I have exemplified as ‘1793’ for ‘1993’. However, an insistence on accuracy seems to me likely to simplify the task of the County Court and more importantly to enable tenants to know with certainty of their status.’


Mann LJ


[1993] 2 EGLR 51, [1993] 25 HLR 421


Housing Act 1988 20 21


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRavenseft Properties Ltd v Hall; White v Chubb; similar CA 19-Dec-2001
Parties appealed decisions as whether assured shorthold tenancy notices were valid despite errors.
Held: If, notwithstanding errors or omissions, the substance of the notice was sufficiently clear to the reasonable person reading it, then the . .
CitedYork and Another v Casey and Another CA 16-Feb-1998
The plaintiffs let property to the respondents. The notice of shorthold tenancy issued prior to the tenancy commencing had obvious errors in the dates. The issue was as to its validity.
Held: The error was evident, the termination date . .
CitedAndrews and Another v Brewer and Another CA 17-Feb-1997
Tenants challenged an order for possession, saying the form of notice was defective. The date specified in the notice was clearly a clerical error. It provided that the tenancy would commence on 29 May 1993 and end on 28 May 1993, on the face of it, . .
CitedClickex Ltd v McCann CA 26-May-1999
A failure by a landlord under the pre-1996 assured shorthold tenancy regime, to insert the correct tenancy dates in a shorthold notice, meant that the tenancy became an assured tenancy, since the arrangement failed to meet the requirements to create . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 27 October 2022; Ref: scu.187707