Right to know landlord's postal address

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    Right to know landlord's postal address

    Good evening. I have just moved into a property via an agency. We have been treated like absolute rubbish by this agency and need to take up a few issues with our landlord with regards to verbal agreements / promises been made to us by the agency - which they are now claiming they never made. I have asked for our landlords postal address / contact details - but they are refusing to give it to us - as they are managing his property. Where to from here in order to obtain this and do I have a right to get it off them? Thanks in advance.

    #2
    You have a right to it from the agent, but have you thought of checking Land Registry? It's only a few pounds to download.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you JKO. Shall do.

      Comment


        #4
        Have a gander at the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, section 1 - "Disclosure of landlord’s identity" - and see if that helps you. The idea behind this is that the Tenant should be supplied with a written statement of a Landlord's name and address within 21 days from the Tenant's request (also written).

        If you are not provided with this then you can read that an offence has been committed, which is open to the punishment of a fine... "a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale".

        Now, what that Landlord address needs to be... well...

        Bottom line should be that the Agent cannot simply refuse... whether managing the Landlord's property or not.

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, and I would also make sure your request is in writing, both posted and emailed in a proper letter. You should remind the agent that not to comply is a criminal offence under s.1 of the LTA 1985, and that if you do not receive the required information within the required time, you will report them to the relevant authorities and they may incur criminal liability.

          What also sometimes works is writing to the branch manager, and pointing out that they may also be held personally criminally liable. That often makes them sit up straight.

          However, if you continue not to get any response, and the council (the enforcing authority for this type of crime) doesn't want to know, where to go next is very difficult question. You could withhold rent, but then you are punishing the LL not the agent (he's already received his commission) and you may get into hotter water.

          You might also check your tenancy agreement, which may give the LL's address but more likely it will give the agent's address under a "c/o" statement. HMLR may also give only the address of the property you are in as the LL (owner's) address, so that may also result in a dead end but worth a try for a few quid as mentioned above.

          Comment


            #6
            The address that you have to be given is one at which notices can be served.
            So normally it would be the landlords actual address.

            As others have said, the agent can't refuse - but they might just give their own address.
            If so, remind the agent that opening post not sent to them (i.e. c/o them) is also an offence.
            and simply write to the landlord c/o that address outlining your concerns.

            Which should include them declining to give an address that they're legally required to.
            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
              Also - I'd find somewhere else to live,
              if this is how the lease starts it's unlikely to get any better.
              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


                #8
                Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                If so, remind the agent that opening post not sent to them (i.e. c/o them) is also an offence.
                It's not.
                I open up lots of mail addressed to the landlords on my books.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  =Postal Services Act 2000]
                  84 Interfering with the mail: general.
                  (1)A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he—
                  (a)intentionally delays or opens a postal packet in the course of its transmission by post, or
                  (b)intentionally opens a mail-bag.
                  5 A person who commits an offence under subsection (1) or (3) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both.
                  Opening the post of someone who's asked you to do it sounds reasonable.

                  I've always been advised not to open post sent to previous residents or tenants of my properties, but to mark it as "Not known at this address, return to sender".

                  To be clear, then, the OP should simply write "to be opened by addressee only" - which probably makes anyone else opening it "unreasonable" (unless the addressee is dead, the anyone is a police officer etc).
                  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


                    #10
                    The address to be supplied following a section 1 request is: "a person’s place of abode or place of business or, in the case of a company, its registered office". (section 38 LTA 1985)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think you guys have lost sight of what "agent" means in legal terms: if lawfully acting as the LL's agent, the law sees the actions of the agent as those of the LL himself.

                      It seems to me completely reasonable that an agent has the implied actual authority of the LL to open his mail that is sent to the agent relating to the property, unless the LL has expressly told him not to (doubtful). On the contrary, if the were not to open the LL's mail addressed to the agent's offices it may be a breach of the agent's duties owed to the LL.

                      So I do not think by opening LL's mail the agent would commit any criminal offence.

                      That said, if you were to put on the envelope "personal, private and confidential", I think the agent then would more likely be in hot water, and any responsible agent would then pick up the phone to the LL asking for authorisation to open or would forward it on to them.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        An estate or letting agent is not exactly an "agent" just because the term is in their job name.
                        They can act only in very specific areas.

                        They act for the landlord in matters that he (the landlord) has agreed to in a contract.
                        They don't (normally) have power of attorney and can't sign things on behalf of a landlord (even if they often think they can).

                        My agent has nothing in our agency agreement about opening post with my name on it - just checked it.
                        You could argue that there is an implicit permission to open post containing information that pertains to things that they are entitled to act as an agent concerning.
                        The problem with most post is that it has the important bits on the inside and you have to open it to see what it's about.

                        If a landlord gives an agents address as his business address, the agents are taking a hell of a responsibility.
                        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


                          #13
                          I agree that as a matter of good practice the agent should expressly set out in the agency agreement what he is expressly authorized to do on the LL's behalf. However, jpkeates I am afraid you are fundamentally mixing up contract law with agency law, even though what is in a contract can serve as evidence of what authority the agent "actually" has, but it does not serve as evidence as to what authority the agent "apparently" has. Exercise of either authority is considered binding on the principal.

                          Agency is a fiduciary relationship which results from the manifestation of consent by one person (the principal) that the other person (the agent) shall act on the principal's behalf and subject to his control, and consent by the agent to so act. No contract is needed. No consideration is needed. This is agency, not contract.

                          You are right that just because someone is called an agent does not, on its own, make him so. What makes someone an agent is assessed by the actions of the principal (the LL) and the agent, as I hope is clear from the above definition. In a letting agent scenario they most certainly are the agent of the LL, if you think about how the relationship was created and what each party asserts to and expects of the other whetehr expressly or implicitly.

                          An agent has both actual authority and apparent authority to act on behalf of the LL.

                          Actual authority, which can be express or implied, is what the agent reasonably believes he has authority to do, not what the LL reasonably believes he has authority to do.

                          Apparent authority is what a third party reasonably believes the agent has authority to do, again, not what the LL reasonably believes the agent has authority to do.

                          So you see, just because your contract does not expressly grant the agent authority to open your post, does not necessarily mean he has no actual authority to do so. However, if your contract expressly states he has no authority to do such a thing (or indeed if you call him up or email him and tell him so), then you are right, he has no actual authority because he cannot reasonably believe that he does.

                          Finally, agents CAN sign things on behalf of the LL, provided they have actual OR apparent authority to do so. My opinion is that they will always have apparent authority to do so, given tenants reasonably believe they would do, even if their agency agreement expressly states they have no actual authority authority.

                          Therefore, what you say is (half) right. Yes they have no power of attorney, but they can bind the LL as his agent, even if not his attorney-in-fact.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I agree with everything dominic says except that a letting agent has implied authority to open his client's mail. The only possible exception can be mail clearly marked as being from utility companies where the agent has authority to pay the bills. I am not sure even an attorney has the right to open mail.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Lawcruncher,

                              Don't you mean the agent has no authority in your first sentence, as the second one appears to contradict this?
                              The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

                              Comment

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