How To Find Your Landlord's Contact Details
23rd November 2018
If you rent your home, the landlord can be quite an elusive creature when it comes to the tenant wanting to make contact with them but as a tenant living in their property that you've made a home, you have the right ot know who they are and how to get hold of them.
Under Section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 tenants have a right to request the name and address of their landlord.
A tenant will want to get in touch with their landlord and bypass the letting agent for a number of reasons, some of these could be;
- The letting agent hasn't carried out repairs as requested,
- You're unhappy with how your letting agent is managing the property,
- You can't get hold of your letting agent,
- To report repairs,
- In case of an emergency, and more.
As a Leicester letting agent, Harry Albert Lettings & Estates holds their tenants' interests in high regard, this includes respecting the law and providing the landlords' details within 21 days of the request being received, though we usually respond immediately to these sorts of requests. Note: We will ask why you require those details in a bid to try and help you where we can, but we will never refuse to give you these details. The reason we will try to help you before you contact the landlord directly is that we are paid to manage your property. Your landlord wants us to take over the management of their investment whilst they focus on other aspects of their life, whether this is their career, hobbies or family.
In the event of an emergency where you need to get hold of your landlord quickly but cannot do so, go to the GOV.UK website to get your local authority's details (the local authority is usually your local council) who will be able to deal with the emergency and then take steps to find out who your landlord is. If you take this option your landlord will be charged for any repairs that have to be carried out by the council or private contractors as a result of the emergency.
What are your rights?
If you pay your rent to a letting agent or property management company like us, they are required by law to provide the landlord's name and address. Your agent has no obligation to provide details like your landlord's contact number or your landlord's email address.
To legally obligate your agent to provide the name and correspondence address of your landlord, you must put the request in writing. A verbal request can be declined and is harder to prove.
You should keep a copy of your letter and keep proof of postage, however, the agent can deny receipt so it's always more worthwhile to send the letter with proof of delivery.
If they do not reply within this time, they are committing a criminal offence and could be fined up to £2'500.
It is common for agents to allow landlords to use their address as their correspondence address, in which case, the agent is obligated to forward any letters from the tenant to them. There may be an agreement in place for the agent to read and prioritise post for the landlord so, when this is the case, you may find the agent reads your letter to the landlord but they must not treat you differently because of any complaints raised against the agent to the landlord.
What if your property isn't managed by a letting agent?
When your landlord self-manages their house or flat, they should provide their contact details and it'll often be contained within the prescribed information given to you at the start of your tenancy or in the tenancy agreement itself but, what happens if the landlord's details change or they go walkabout and you can't get hold of them? There are some tips you can take to find your landlord's details which include:
- Search Google and other search engines for the landlord's name. For example, if your landlord's name was Harry Albert, you'd search "Harry Albert Landlord", if you know they live in Leicester or most of their properties are in Leicester, you can search "Harry Albert Leicester". You should also use Bing and other search engines too as their algorithms are slightly different to Google and will pull up different results. Google searches for personalised, relevant results but Bing still uses keyword relevant results.
- If Google doesn't pull up the information you want, search 192.com. 192.com tells you more about people, businesses & places in the UK than any other directory. More than just directory enquiries, 192.com lists full names, addresses, age guides, property prices, aerial photos, company & director reports, family records, & much more! There is a slight charge for using 192.com
- If your landlord isn't an individual but a company instead, you can check companies house for their details. The Companies Act 2006 states companies must inform Companies House if any of their details change, including their name, address or business activities.
- Finally, if you're unsure who your landlord is, you should check the Land Registry. There is a slight charge for the data and the report you receive from the Land Registry will give you details of the freeholder who may not be your landlord if you're living in a flat or other leasehold property. However, the freeholder should be able to provide you with their details but are under no legal obligation to do so.
What if you still can't find their details?
Sometimes, as far as you may try, your landlord can remain out of reach. If an agent or another representative is acting on their behalf, you might be able to regard them legally as your landlord.
If the agent’s name and address is on the tenancy agreement, and they are acting to protect the landlord’s identity, then as far as tenants are concerned the agent is the landlord. What this means is you can go to court and file a claim against your agent as if they are your actual landlord.
Speak to a Citizens Advice Bureau advisor if you do not get a response from your written request to the letting agent or your landlord’s representative.
Your local Housing Office can issue your landlord with a fine for withholding information. Do be aware that some landlords may try to evict you as a result; this is known as revenge or retaliatory eviction and is illegal.