In a decision handed down on 8 May 2012 the Upper Tribunal
(Lands Chamber) have clarified a long standing requirement that a
demand for rent or service charges must contain the name and
address of the landlord, if it is to be regarded as a valid
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The requirement has been in place since the commencement of the
Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, but it has become common practice for
some landlords to insert the address of its managing agents or a
'care of' address on demands. This is particularly so where
the address of the landlord is outside of the UK. The Case of
Beitov Properties Limited V Elliston Bentley Martin has determined
that a demand must state the full name and address of the landlord,
even if the address is a registered office which might be at a
solicitors office or accountants', or outside of the UK.
Health check required
The decision confirms that the purpose of Section 47 (1)(a) is
to enable the lessees to know who their landlords are. If the
landlords address is outside of England and Wales, it is a further
requirement under Section 47(1)(b) that an address in England and
Wales at which notices can be served must also be provided on any
demand. This can be utilised to state the address of any managing
agent. Prudent landlords should check that their service charge
demands comply with this basic requirement.
The risk of not complying is that the sums being claimed in a
demand which does not comply are not regarded as being due. In the
Beitov case this meant that a case brought for recovery of service
charges failed on a mere technicality, a point considered by the
President of the Upper Tribunal; "No purpose will in the
circumstances have been served in imposing on the landlord the need
to deal with the issue raised, to serve a fresh demand and, quite
possibly, to take further proceedings for recovery".
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