Section 48: Can you still withhold rent after a tenancy has ended?

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    Section 48: Can you still withhold rent after a tenancy has ended?

    So my landlord seems to be very ignorant of the law, and in particular; section 48 which states a landlord must provide a tenant with an address in england and wales to which the tenant can serve notices. And if they fail to do this, the tenant can withhold rent. The one the landlord has given us (and in the contract too) is overseas.

    He seems to be very confused about this and he has given us a *future* address in england and wales (via email; the one we are currently renting), and we have told him we want a current in writing (since emails aren't reliable in court), and are refusing to pay any more rent until he has done this, incase we need to sue him (which is looking more and more likely as the tenancy is nearing an end, with unannounced entrances to the property, etc.).

    My question is, must section 47/48 still be complied with after the tenancy? i.e. can we still carry on withholding the rent after the tenancy has ended until he gives us a current address in England and Wales in writing?

    Any advice much appreciated

    P.S. I understand it's a criminal offence for the landlord not to reply within 21 days with a new address - it has now been 28 days. But it is too complex and expensive to prosecute him, and the police aren't willing to get involved in matters like this, so I am hoping instead we can just withhold another few months rent for our last couple of months living here, which will certainly convince him to give us an address.

    #2
    He just has to give you AN address: Any address, could be a PO box, could be the pub he goes to every Christmas. It doesn't have to be where he lives (that's a S3 issue..).

    e.g. I lived in Scotland: Agent had given tenants the Scottish address: I needed 3 goes to get the agent to understand they just needed to give their address c/o for me for rent to be due.

    I think you owe rent. If unsure call Shelter, the experts, 0808 800 4444.

    If you don't like unannounced entrances, change the locks, change them back when you leave, no damage.

    But even without an address you CAN still pay the rent.

    Does he have agreement from HMRC over declaring rent ?? If not you should be withholding 20% of rent as he is overseas.. see

    https://www.gov.uk/tax-uk-income-live-abroad/rent
    Your letting agent or tenant will:
    - and may later need to pay that to HMRC
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
      ...
      Thanks for the response.
      He hasn't given us any address at all in England and Wales to which we can serve documents. Section 48 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1987/31/section/48) states
      (2) Where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with subsection (1), any rent [F1, service charge or administration charge] otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall (subject to subsection (3)) be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does comply with that subsection.
      Also, there is no agent anymore (they dissolved, but their address wasn't on the contract to begin with), and no PO box he has given us.

      Comment


        #4
        Assuming you signed a tenancy agreement, how did you deliver that?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          Assuming you signed a tenancy agreement, how did you deliver that?
          it was digitally signed, organised by the agent

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by zukias View Post
            He seems to be very confused about this and he has given us a *future* address in england and wales (via email; the one we are currently renting), and we have told him we want a current in writing (since emails aren't reliable in court
            Emails are almost certainly reliable in court and count as being "in writing".
            So I wouldn't rely on that.
            A future address doesn't satisfy the requirement.

            My question is, must section 47/48 still be complied with after the tenancy? i.e. can we still carry on withholding the rent after the tenancy has ended until he gives us a current address in England and Wales in writing?]
            The rent becomes payable when the information is given.

            I've never heard of a case that gives any indication of whether that is still the case after the tenancy has ended, but there's nothing in the legislaiton to indicate otherwise and "any time" is quite broad.

            Check the land registry for the property you're renting, that might give you an address you can use for legal service.
            Or, if you are suing the landlord after the end of the tenancy, use the property address, as it's all you have.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
              ...
              Many thanks for your response as always

              The land registry has a "Registered Owner(s)" field with the address being the same address we are renting.

              Comment


                #8
                Then you should be able to use that address if you need to go legal.

                If you want the landlord to know what's happening, you could copy things to the overseas address that you have, if you think you'd be better off with the landlord not knowing what's happening, don't.
                You've made more than reasonable efforts to find a more relevant address and the land registry data is a reasonable basis on which to rely.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Is the landlord a UK person working abroad, or basically a foreign person? Using the property address service may end up with a CCJ by default, but with no real impact on the landlord.

                  On the other hand, if the landlord wants the rent, they are going to have to provide a UK address to the courts.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    Then you should be able to use that address if you need to go legal.

                    If you want the landlord to know what's happening, you could copy things to the overseas address that you have, if you think you'd be better off with the landlord not knowing what's happening, don't.
                    You've made more than reasonable efforts to find a more relevant address and the land registry data is a reasonable basis on which to rely.
                    Can I do this even if I know he doesn't live there because... well... I live there.

                    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                    Is the landlord a UK person working abroad, or basically a foreign person? Using the property address service may end up with a CCJ by default, but with no real impact on the landlord.

                    On the other hand, if the landlord wants the rent, they are going to have to provide a UK address to the courts.
                    The landlord has dual citizenship (UK and some EU country). He currently lives overseas but is moving back here in a few months to the address we are renting. At least he thinks he is. He hasn't protected our deposit so he hasn't served a valid s21 which is another thing he seems to be having a hard time understanding. In fact I don't think he understands what a section 21 even is. But that's a story for another time.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by zukias View Post
                      My question is, must section 47/48 still be complied with after the tenancy? i.e. can we still carry on withholding the rent after the tenancy has ended until he gives us a current address in England and Wales in writing
                      I think the question is rather whether the landlord can serve a notice at all after the tenancy ends. The Act requires the notice to be served by the landlord. If the tenancy has ended can there be a landlord? In respect of the deposit legislation as originally drafted it was held that "tenant" did not include "former tenant". The Act defines "landlord" as "[...] the person who [...] would be entitled to possession of the premises subject to the tenancy".

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by zukias View Post
                        Can I do this even if I know he doesn't live there because... well... I live there.
                        No. See Practice Rule 6.9 https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...les/part06#6.9 However, if the landlord gives the address of the rented property as his address for service it seems that notice of proceedings may be served there; see Practice Rule 6.8(b): https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pr...les/part06#6.8

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          I think the question is rather whether the landlord can serve a notice at all after the tenancy ends.
                          (Obviously not binding authority) A landlord is not able to satsify s48 once the tenancy has ended : Zafar v Goddard [13 December 2010] Bristol County Court (DDJ Batstone).

                          However, it's not clear that OP's landlord have never satisfied s48. It does not appear to me that an address for service previously given that is no longer valid (e.g. ex-agent) requries to be updated for the purpose of s48. OP mentioned there were an electronic tenancy agreement, did that include an address for service? Then there's now the address given by email of the rental property. It's an address in England and Wales, but on the other hand it's arguable that it is not one where notices may be served on the landlord by the tenant as the tenant knows for a fact that it wouldn't get to the landlord as it's the tenant's address at the moment.
                          I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                          I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by zukias View Post

                            Many thanks for your response as always

                            The land registry has a "Registered Owner(s)" field with the address being the same address we are renting.
                            Then it's likely he's pretending he still lives there... so
                            a) He's not been declaring his rental income: "Suggest" to him that unless you get what you want you'll report him to HMRC.... and/or...
                            b) He's not got a B2L mortgage but a residential one: Breaching terms of his mortgage, could be re-posessed: ""Suggest" to him that unless you get what you want you'll report him to Lender (....the deeds will give name of only lender...)

                            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Please don't recommend blackmail as a solution to OP's problems.......
                              I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                              I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                              Comment

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