I've sent a response to a demand for payment of debt by recorded delivery. The Royal Mail tracker indicates that the letter was delivered and signed for, although the name given and the signature are unrecognizable to me (the name isn't a name I would've expected given the people demanding the debt be paid). I've double-checked and the letter was definitely sent to the correct address, according to Royal Mail.

So, could the person demanding the debt claim, in court, that they had not received the response because someone with a different name signed for the letter? Do you actually need it to be signed for by a recognized person?

1 Answer 1


Let's say you were careless and wrote my address on the letter instead of the right person (there is actually a house about a mile away from me with practically the same address). So someone hands me a letter through recorded delivery that has nothing to do with me whatsoever, and I sign for it. Well, you didn't deliver it.

Unless that person lied to you and gave you a random address. Or my home was their business location 20 years ago and they never updated it. In that case it would be very likely that factually delivering the letter to me would legally count as delivering to him.

If the address is actually correct then they are usually responsible for people signing for registered deliveries. And it is legally delivered. Maybe not if the mailman surprised a burglar emptying the house and the burglar signed the letter.

  • As I said I double-checked the address and it was (according to Royal Mail) certainly delivered to the right address. Either the person receiving the letter lied about their name, or it was someone else living at the property I have no idea about.
    – Jez
    Commented Aug 13, 2022 at 12:35
  • If it was sent to the right address and Royal Mail delivered it to the right address then it can be assumed it was received unless the person can give a good reason why they didn’t receive it. If the persons mum was there, signed, and threw the letter away, even if the receiver could prove this, would be the receivers fault and problem. If this is a property shared between four people, his problem (if you put the name on the letter).
    – gnasher729
    Commented Aug 14, 2022 at 9:16
  • Could you put that into an answer so I can accept it, gnasher?
    – Jez
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 11:14

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