In this post we look a putting the landlords and tenants address in tenancy agreements.
There needs to be a contact address for the landlord. If the landlord is living outside England and Wales, note that there also needs to be an address which is in England or Wales.
The reason for this is section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. This provides that a landlord must give his tenant notice of an address in England and Wales for the service of documents.
Until this is done, any rent will be treated as not being due from the tenant. Which means that the landlord will not be entitled to sue or evict for non-payment of rent, if the s48 information has not been provided. This is not as bad as it sounds though, as once the information has been given, all the back rent will fall due.
The notice giving the information is generally known as a Section 48 Notice. Although it can be given to the tenant separately, it is normally included as part of the tenancy agreement. A case in the 1980’s confirmed that provided an address in England or Wales is given somewhere in the tenancy agreement for the landlord, this would suffice – it does not have to specifically say that it is being provided under s48.
It also does not have to be the landlords’ home address. It can be his business, and often it will be his managing agents’ address. However, it must be somewhere in England and Wales.
It is particularly important to remember to check the s48 notice has been provided where the landlord lives in Scotland or abroad. In these cases, if the landlord is not using a local agent, he will have to arrange for a friend or relative to agree to have their details given as the address for service of notices.
If you arranging for this, make sure that they realise that any documents served must be forwarded on to you promptly. You will be deemed to have had notice of any paperwork severed on you there, even if you actually have never seen it.
Note that if the landlord is a limited company, the address for the service of documents will normally be the companies registered office.
For new tenants, landlords sometimes like to include their previous address, e.g. where they were living if they signed the tenancy in advance. Otherwise, they will be living at the property. Note that if they are not living at the property (e.g. if they have sub-let it) then they will have lost the protection of the Rent Act or the Housing Act and will be a common law tenancy – see day 4.
If the tenant is a company, again, the registered office should be given as the company address. I also like to include the company registration number as well – you can usually find both of these from Companies House.
Tomorrow I will be discussing guarantors.
NB Find out more about my Tenancy Agreement Service on Landlord Law