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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Under S1 OF THE Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, I have the legal

Customer Question

Under S1 OF THE Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, I have the legal right to know my landlord's address. His Agent refuses to provide the information. Our enforcement authority says they're not interested. Can you help?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 12 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
On what basis do they refuse please?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
My landlord's letting agent has written to tell that the landlord does not wish his address to be released. On the tenancy agreement the landlord's address is shown as being care of the letting agent. The landlord is an individual, resident in England. The Agent further informed me that the agent has sought legal advice and has been advised that he has no obligation under S1 LTA 1985 to provide me with the postal address of the landlord. The agent has told me he has been authorised by the landlord to provide me with a mobile phone number or email address for contact purposes.
My local authority is Bassetlaw District Council. The environmental health department at Bassetlaw has responsibility for enforcement of LTA 1985 (so they tell me). Their officer has told me they would not consider taking enforcement action against the Agent for such a trivial matter as this. Their over-stretched resources are better utilised in taking enforcement action in such cases as squalid and dangerous properties, gross anti-social behaviour and so on. I fully understand Bassetlaw's reasoning.
Be that as it may, landlords and "receivers of rent" are obliged to provide a tenant who has made a written requirement with the physical address of the landlord within 21 days. Failure to disclose the information is a criminal offence. Such entitlement, and corresponding duty, is considered to be so important that it the very first Section of LTA 1985. It would not be unreasonable to consider that landlords and agents breaking the law regarding Section 1 LTA 1985 do so because they believe they can get away with it; and are more likely to treat the rest of the Act with disdain also, until they move on from Bassetlaw's trivial transgressions.
I took on the tenancy of my home on Friday 28 August 2015, arrived with keys and turned on the mains water at the stop-cock. Within minutes water was flooding from the overflow of one of the water tanks in the roof void. I turned off the water and phoned the agent straight away (about 1pm) and was told that a plumber would be at the property that afternoon and that I should remain at the property so that access would be available for the plumber. The plumber arrived on the following Tuesday afternoon. I had been unable to contact the agent until that morning. Once the repairs had been made, I was able to set about moving in to the property, four days later than anticipated.
My motivation for requiring the S1 LTA 1985 initially was so that if I had further poor service and costly inconvenience from the agent, I would be able to make direct contact with the landlord. Reading LTA 1985 I learnt that my entitlement was to have the landlord's address and thus made written application to the agent. After three months, I am further motivated to see that the agent is held accountable for failing to disclose the address to me within the statutory period of 21 days.
Paul
Expert:  Ash replied 12 months ago.
They are obliged to give it to you. You should write formally and ask and say if they refuse you will go to Court.
If they continue to refuse you can seek a Court order against them for specific disclosure. You would make an application to Court using form N244:
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf
The court would list the matter for hearing and decide whether to give disclosure.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The letting agent consider themselves above the law. Repeatedly I have demanded information under S1 LTA 1985; repeatedly they have refused to disclose the information that they are required to provide. I required them to respond to their obligation under S1 LTA 1985 to supply me with the landlord's physical address within 21 days, not just to offer to supply the information I had initially required of them at a later date; nor to offer a mobile phone number or an email address. Having failed to respond, within the statutory 21 days, this is a criminal offence. The agent's decision that they will not abide by S1 LTA 1985 by reason of their protecting their client's (landlord's) address does not abrogate their obligation under the Act.I wish to bring the landlord's agent to account, within the law. Surely I should not be saying to the agent that I am very disillusioned that he (she) has failed to provide information within 21 days, three months later, and say that all is OK if the agent provides the information at some time in the future, as you have inferred would be acceptable.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
You have told me "They are obliged to give it (the information) to you. You should write formally and ask and say if they refuse you will go to Court.If they continue to refuse you can seek a Court order against them for specific disclosure. You would make an application to Court using form N244:"The Act requires that upon the written application of the tenant, the most recent recipient of rent must provide proscribed information to the tenant; such failure to provide the information is a criminal offence under the Act.Naturally, you are well aware of this.With the passing of several months, and a paper-trail of evidence, why should I need to "write formally and ask and say if they refuse you will go to Court"; does this make the offence magically disappear? More than 21 days has passed; the offence is extant.
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
This is because if you go to court you need to warm them beforehand.
Alex
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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