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Landlord’s actual address required in demands for rent or service charges

Landlords and managing agents must include the landlord’s actual address on demands for rent or service charges, even if the landlord is based overseas, a Tribunal decision has confirmed.

An overseas landlord brought a claim for recovery of service charges from a tenant. The tenant argued the landlord’s demand was not properly made as it did not contain the landlord’s name and address.

Property law in England & Wales requires a demand must include the landlord’s name and address. However, a practice had developed whereby overseas landlords (or their agents) included the address of the relevant managing agent (or a ‘c/o’ address) in demands, but not the landlord’s actual address – as happened in this instance.

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) ruled in the tenant’s favour. It decided the landlord’s actual address had to be included in the demand, even if it was an overseas address. Without it, the sums being claimed in the demand are regarded as not being due.

However, the law also states where the landlord’s address in a demand is outside England & Wales, a tenant can request an ‘address for service’ in England & Wales where it can send notices. The Tribunal said it was open to a landlord to include that address for service in England & Wales in the demand too.

Recommendation

Landlords and their managing agents should ensure demands for rent or service charges include the landlord’s actual name and address, even if it is overseas, in addition to any address for service.

Case ref: Beitov Properties Limited V Elliston Bentley Martin [2012]

Jonathan Waters is the founder of Helix Law. Before qualifying as a Solicitor he worked in industry and in investment banking for over a decade. He was also the Partner in charge of Commercial Litigation, Employment Law and Property Litigation at Stephen Rimmer LLP. Jonathan has wide experience of helping and advising businesses to avoid or to deal with commercial disputes and in particular construction disputes.

This article is written to raise awareness of the issues it discusses and it may not be updated after it is first written, even if the law changes. It is not intended to be legal advice and cannot be relied on as such. Helix Law is not responsible or liable for any action taken or not taken as a result of  this article. If you think the matters set out affect you and you wish to apply them to your particular circumstances then we are happy to give you free initial telephone advice. 

Contact Helix Law on 01273 761 990 or email: [email protected]