Avoid Penalties: Requirements for Landlord Address
Section 48 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 require a landlord to provide an address in England or Wales at which notices may be served on him by the tenant. Where a landlord fails to provide such an address, any rent or service charge otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does provide such an address.
Once the information is furnished to the tenant, all rent and other sums become due even during the period of non-compliance [Lindsey Trading Properties Inc v Dallhold Estates (UK) Pty Ltd (1995) 70 P. & CR 332.]
Because the terms used in section 48 are "landlord and tenant", it has been held in the County Court that service, after the tenancy has ended, will have no effect Zafar v Goddard, Bristol County Court, 13 December 2010.
Section 47 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 requires that any demand for rent or other sums due under the tenancy terms contain the landlord's name and address. Therefore, if the address is not in England or Wales, the address must nevertheless be provided.
If that address is not in England or Wales, then the landlord must also provide an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notices in proceedings) may be served on the landlord by the tenant [section 47(1)(b)].
Suppose the demand fails to contain this information. In that case, any part of the amount demanded, which consists of a service charge ("the relevant amount"), shall be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord furnishes that information by notice given to the tenant.
Unlike section 48 above, therefore, a failure to provide the name and address of the landlord in demand for rent does not produce any penalty in respect of rent.
In Beitov Properties Ltd v Elliston Martin  UKUT 133 (LC), it was held that the address required to be provided in demand for payment must be the landlord's actual address and an agent address is not sufficient.
9 It is, in my judgment, clear from the wording of section 47(1) that the purpose of the requirement in (a) to provide the address (as well as the name) of the landlord is not solely for the purpose of providing the tenant with an address at or through which he can communicate with the landlord. That is clear because (b) provides that, if the landlord’s address is not in England and Wales, an address in England and Wales must be given at which notices may be served on the landlord by the tenant. Thus even if the landlord’s address is not in England and Wales it still has to be given (and a further address provided for the service of notices). The purpose of the requirement in section 47 to include in any demand the name and address of the landlord, in my judgment, is to enable a tenant to know who his landlord is, and a name alone may not be sufficient for this purpose. To provide an address at which the landlord can be found assists in the process of identification.
10 That this is the purpose of the requirement to provide the landlord’s address is in my view clear from section 47 alone. It is, however, to be noted that section 48 makes separate provision for “Notification by landlord of address for service of notices” (as the section is headed), so that that provision carries the implication that the requirement in section 47 is not solely for the purpose of providing the tenant with an address at or through which he can communicate with the landlord but has a wider purpose. For this reason the provisions of the Companies Act 2006, relied on by the appellant, are of no assistance because they are concerned with the service of documents or other information.
11 The address of the landlord for the purpose of section 47(1) thus seems to me to be the place where the landlord is to be found. In the case of an individual this would be his place of residence or the place from which he carries on business. In the case of a company it would be the company’s registered office or the place from which it carries on business. If there is more than one place of residence or place from which business is carried on, then, depending on the facts, it may be that any one of such addresses will do. I do not think that it is useful to say any more than this. Of course in many cases providing the address of a company landlord may for purposes of identification add nothing of practical value and is unlikely to be of any interest to the tenant, who will be more concerned about having an address at or through which he can communicate with the landlord. (In the present case there is nothing to suggest that the tenant was concerned to establish the company’s address.) But there will be cases in which provision of an address does assist in the process of identification.
12 In the present case the address given, Hyde House, The Hyde, London NW9 6LH, was not the landlord’s address because it was not the registered office of the company or an address from which it carried on business. It was the address of the agents of the company who managed the subject property, and the fact that they kept there the records, files and accounts relating to the property did not make it an address from which the company itself carried on business. The fact that it was an address to which communications to the company could be sent is nothing to the point. The LVT in my judgment determined the matter correctly in point of law, and the appeal must accordingly be dismissed.
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