Section 48 Notice – Tenant’s Right To Know Landlord’s Address

Section 24 Notice

So, I’m going to write this blog post from the perspective of a landlord (because I am one of those ghastly cretins, so it’s just easier), but this topic will be equally relevant to tenants. Cool? Cool.

In short, landlords of residential tenancies in England and Wales must provide their tenants with a postal address in England & Wales at which notices can be served by the tenant (e.g. notice of “tenancy surrender” if the tenant wishes to terminate the tenancy), as per the Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Failing to comply can actually, and quite surprisingly to some, result in some hefty consequences for the ol’ landlord.

Basically, make sure your tenant has a valid postal address whereby they can send you letters.

Table of contents:

What is a Section 48 Notice?

A written document/letter that served to a tenant, usually by their landlord or letting agent, that contains a postal address in England or Wales whereby tenant’s can serve notices.

It is a legal requirement for landlords to provide this information to their tenant.

How landlords comply with Section 48 (how to notify tenants of a contactable address)

There are a couple of points to cover here:

  • Tenancy agreements / Section 48 notice – the reality is, most landlords comply with Section 48 with in the tenancy agreement itself – having an address in the contract is enough to comply, which means there is no need to issue a separate section 48 notice, or even specifically mention that the tenancy agreement is itself a section 48 notice. That’s why it’s important (and much easier) to ensure your tenancy agreement contains a valid address which can be used by tenant’s to serve notice.

    However, if for some very strange and unusual reason your tenancy agreement does not contain a valid address that complies with Section 48, then a separate Section 48 notice should be issued, containing the details.

  • The address – the contact address must be in England or Wales, and it can include the following:
    • Landlord’s home address
    • Business address
    • Landlord’s solicitor’s address
    • Letting agent’s address
    • Address of a friend or relative (often used when dealing with landlords that live abroad)
    • The person who demands, or last received, the rent
  • The postal address cannot be a PO box

When should landlords serve a Section 48 notice

In most common cases, a Section 48 notice is served to the tenant when:

  • there is a verbal tenancy in place (i.e. no written contract)
  • the landlord/agent (or whoever’s address in the tenancy agreement) has a change of address
  • there is a change of landlord/agent

Timeframes

  • If there is a change in address, the tenant should be notified in writing within two months after the transfer
  • If the tenant has made a written request for an address, the information must be provided in writing within 21 days

What if the landlord does not comply (provide a contactable address)?

  • Tenants can withhold rent until they are issued with an address
  • Potential penalty up the tune of £2,500
  • Landlords will not be able to enforce payment of rent, rent arrears or service charges through the courts. Although, this can be avoided by serving the Section 48 notice before any court proceedings to recover rent or service charges, otherwise the tenant will have a valid defence.

Download Section 24 Template

While there is no specific format for complying with the requirement, I have attached a template of a Section 24 notice which I have used in the past.









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