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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H00M59S

Priscilla and Mike own Mulberry House, which they hold on trust for themselves as joint tenants. Following the breakdown of their marriage, Priscilla's solicitors serve a notice of severance on Mike at Mulberry House on Friday by first class post. On Saturday, Mike suffers a heart attack and is admitted to hospital. Priscilla returns from the hospital on Monday to find the letter from her solicitor on the doormat. She no longer wishes to sever the joint tenancy and destroys the letter. The following Friday, Mike dies. Which of the following statements best describes the legal position?

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The notice of severance has been validly served and the joint tenancy has been severed. According to s. 196(3) of the Law of Property Act 1925 and the case of Kinch v Bullard [1999] 1 WLR 423, if a notice is sent by post in a registered manner and is proven to have arrived at the correct address, service is effective, regardless of whether the recipient has read the letter. In this case, the letter was delivered to Mulberry House, thus severing the joint tenancy. Therefore, Mike's share in the property passes to his estate. 

Key Point: Service of a notice of severance by post is valid under s. 196(3) LPA 1925 if it is proven to have arrived at the correct address, making the severance effective even if the recipient has not read the letter.

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