The discussion around how to prove you sent a letter, or someone received it, has already been discussed to death on the internet. But I can't find anything for the other way round; how to prove someone else sent you physical mail.

Hypothetical scenario: A Tenant wishes to serve notices to a landlord but the landlord has not provided an address in England an Wales as specified by section 48. The landlord provides the tenant with a fake address. The tenant then starts proceedings against the landlord to this fake address, and wins a court case by default. The landlord then claims the address that was sent in the letter, isn't his address, and that the tenant fabricated it. Can the tenant do anything to prove the landlord did in fact send that letter?

2 Answers 2


Can the tenant do anything to prove the landlord did in fact send that letter?

The tenant might want to ascertain from other [current and former] tenants the address the landlord provided to them as well as the timing and circumstances of the landlord's compliance with Section 48 in each instance. Any discrepancies will tend to discredit the landlord's position.

Likewise, any prior history of proceedings or grievances against the landlord may suggest an attempt by him to elude subsequent proceedings from other tenants.

Furthermore, common sense is that the landlord would have the burden of proof because Section 48 establishes a landlord's duty. It would be in the landlord's best interest to have the tenant sign as receipt a copy of the record that reflects the landlord's compliance with that statute.


It's difficult to prove a negative. In this instance, one of two things is true:

  1. The letter in question really was sent by the landlord, and so the tenants are telling the truth.
  2. The letter was faked by the tenants, and so the landlord is telling the truth.

For #2, presumably the landlord must then have proof that he notified the tenants of a valid contact address in England & Wales - since otherwise that would leave him in breach of the law.

If he has that proof, then it casts doubt on the tenants' story. If he doesn't have that proof, I would speculate that it doesn't matter whether the letter is real or not, since either way, the tenants have no valid address to use.

In other words, my interpretation is similar to Iñaki Viggers' answer, in that the burden of proof is on the landlord to prove that he gave the tenants a valid address.

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    Strictly speaking, a malicious third party could have intercepted the letter and substituted a fake. That would mean that both landlord and tenant are telling the truth as they know it. But that is highly improbable in this sort of case, although there are various historical precedents in higher-stakes matters. Apr 7, 2019 at 16:24

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