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Addressing the Problem

Liam O’Shea, Director and Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Litigation Department discusses the often overlooked potential problem for Landlords and their Managing or Letting Agents and the disclosure of a Landlord’s address.

In the case of Beitov Properties Ltd v Elliston Martin [2012] UKUT 133 (LC) it was held that it is not sufficient to give the name of the Landlord and the address of the Managing or Letting Agents – rather the requirement is to give the address of the Landlord themselves.

Sections 47 & 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 set out the need for a Landlord’s name and address to be contained in demands for rent and for the need to for a Landlord to notify a Tenant of his or her address for service of notices on them.

Where a Landlord does not furnish the Tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices can be served on him or her then any rent, service charge or administration charge due from the Tenant to the Landlord shall be treated as not being due.

Whilst the notice of the name and address of the Landlord must be in writing and not merely oral a separate notice is not required and therefore confirmation of the details set out in the Tenancy Agreement is usually sufficient.

It remains commonplace for a Managing or Letting Agents to insert their own business address as being the Landlord’s address for the above purposes.   However, in the case of Beitov where the address given in the demand was that of the Landlord’s managing agents and not the Landlord’s business address it was held that the address should have been of the Landlord itself – specifically, the address of the Landlord is the place where the landlord can be found.

In the case of an individual, the address of the Landlord will be the place of residence or the place from which he carries on business.   In the case of a Company, it will be the Company’s registered office or the place from which it carries on business (further it is of note that the fact that the records, files and accounts relating to the property were kept at that Managing/Letting Agents address did not make their address a business address of the Company Landlord.)

Therefore a word of caution for Landlords and their Managing or Letting Agents – provide Tenants with details of the Landlord’s true address and whilst there will remain Landlords who prefer discretion and may not wish to reveal their addresses to their Tenants, until they do so then rent may not be actually due and, further, they would not be able to rely on a section 8 notice requiring possession should the Tenant fail to pay the rent.

Should you have any queries regarding your duties as a Landlord or Managing or Letting Agent or should you wish to obtain possession of a property from a Tenant then please contact Liam O’Shea, Director and Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Litigation Department, either by email at loshea@astlepaterson.co.uk or by telephone on 01283 531366.    

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