All Landlords and their Agents need to be aware of the Landlord & Tenant Act, 1987 and the repercussions upon the tenant eviction process should they fail to comply with section 48.
Firstly Section 48 applies where the premises consist of or include a dwelling, so it applies to all residential landlords.
Section 48(1) of the act provides that a landlord of premises to which this part applies shall by notice furnish the tenant with an address in England and Wales at which notices (including notice of proceedings) may be served on him by the tenants.
Section 48(2) provides that “where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with Sub Section (1) any rent otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant at any time before the landlord does comply with the sub section.
This effectively means that until a section 48 notice is served rent is not payable and not lawfully due unless the landlord has given an address for service of notices in accordance with the act.
In the circumstances prior to service of either a sectio 8 or a section 21 notice it is imperative to check and see whether either a section 48 notice has been served or whether this is incorporated in the tenancy agreement. Many tenancy agreements do contain this information but not all, and we have also seen cases where although it is mentioned the address has not been inserted.
Should a section 8 notice be served and court proceedings issued and no section 48 notice served the rent would not be lawfully due and therefore the tenant could apply to have the claim struck out on this basis. Unfortunately the landlord would not be able to serve a corrective section 48 notice. The only solution would be to discontinue the existing court proceedings and possibly face costs penalties, and the serve a section 48 notice and a fresh section 8 notice and then issue fresh possession proceedings.
Landlords and Agents should also be aware that section 47 of LTA 1o87 requires the landlord’s name and address to be given on all demands for rent or any other sums payable under the tenancy. Howevwer this will not satisfy the requirements of section 48.
Section 48 notices do not have to be served personally on the tenant delivery by post should be sufficient to meet the requirements that the landlord furnishes the tenant with the information by notice.
We at Solicitors4Landlords always check that a section 48 notice has been given and should it have not then we serve a section 48 notice prior to the section 8/21 at no additional cost.