HL Deb 02 May 1995 vol 563 cc1356-7

27 Clause 35, page 16, line 36, leave out from beginning to end of line 38 and insert: (cc) it is given to him in a manner authorised by a written agreement made, at any time before the giving of the notice, between him and the person giving the notice. ( ) A notice or other document to which this section applies is not duly given to a person if its text is transmitted to him by facsimile or other electronic means otherwise than by virtue of subsection (2) (cc) above.".

4.45 p.m.

Earl Howe

My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 27.

During the earlier stages of the Bill the noble Lord, Lord Gallacher, introduced a number of amendments to Clause 35 (which was then Clause 34) and was particularly concerned that the position regarding service of notice by fax should be made clear. At Third Reading I assured your Lordships that we were working on an amendment to that clause but it was a complex area. The amendment is the result of our deliberations.

The first part of the amendment deletes the specific provision relating to the sending of notices by any delivery service where the delivery is recorded. That means that if there is a dispute, the onus will always be on the sender to prove that the notice was delivered.

Two new provisions are inserted. The first will give parties extra flexibility to agree other methods of serving written notice which may be used in addition to those listed in the Bill. The second new provision makes it clear that fax and other electronic methods can be used only if the parties have agreed in writing to their use. That will avoid confusion and will give landlords and tenants the opportunity to use the latest technology if they so wish.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No.27.—(Earl Howe.)

Lord Carter

My Lords, we welcome the amendment because it will add to the flexibility of the system. A problem may arise. The Government may find over time that, having specified "facsimile—although I understand why they have done so —as other means of transmission develop such as Internet or e-mail (although that is a poor example) it may be necessary to amend the Bill. Otherwise those means of transmission will be excluded. Nevertheless, I understand the reasons behind the amendment.

On Question, Motion agreed to.