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I have been given a section 21 notice but I don't have an address in England and Wales to which I can service documents to, as specified by section 48. Does this invalidate the section 21? The agent dissolved half way through the tenancy. The address specified in the contract for which to serve notice etc, is an address abroad. Obviously a mistake made by an incompetent letting agent. I have only just fouund out I could have been witholding rent all this time... but too late for that.

If I want to demand to know the address of my landlord, I can wwrite to him abroad, but I won't be able to claim proof of receipt for letters abroad... and sending recorded delivery abroad is exepensive so would rather not do that. So how can I reliably ask for his address? It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

  • Where were you sending the money, if you don't know how to get a hold of them, but didn't withhold rent? Send the letter where you sent the money. – Putvi Apr 6 at 17:07
  • @Putvi bank transfer to his barclays account (a UK bank) – Ashley Apr 6 at 17:26
  • Subpoena the bank to find him then. – Putvi Apr 6 at 17:27
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    It would be time consuming, but most stuff in court normally is. I'm sorry. – Putvi Apr 6 at 17:45
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    @Putvi please note the jurisdiction on questions, as it introduces context - in the UK we don't have subpoenas, we have court summons and court rulings and court warrants and court orders. If you want to require the bank to give up information, then here you would need a Norwich Pharmacal order - asking for a subpoena would simply get you laughed at for watching too much American TV. – Moo Apr 6 at 22:14
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I have been given a section 21 [of the Housing Act 1988] notice but I don't have an address in England and Wales to which I can service documents to, as specified by section 48 [of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987]. Does this invalidate the section 21?

According to an article on Landlord Law Blog which addresses this very question, no:

Section 21 notices must comply with the requirements of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and the courts are very strict on this. However, I cannot see anywhere in the section a requirement that the notice must give an address for the landlord which is in England or Wales.

The article also confirms one aspect of the question, in that:

There are situations where the landlord’s address is significant. For example rent is not due unless a landlord gives an address for service of documents in England / Wales.

The question also states:

If I want to demand to know the address of my landlord, I can [write] to him abroad, but I won't be able to claim proof of receipt for letters abroad... and sending recorded delivery abroad is [expensive] so would rather not do that. So how can I reliably ask for his address?

I'm taking this (and subsequent comments) to mean that OP does have a reliable way of contacting the landlord - but that the landlord is in breach of section 48 because no address has been made available which is in England or Wales.

So the answer seems to be: assuming the Section 21 notice is otherwise valid, the fact that the landlord has provided an invalid address doesn't change that. However, it appears that no rent is due until a valid address is provided (though note that once a valid address is provided, all withheld rent is then due.)

It is possible that the landlord has made an honest mistake, and didn't realise that the current absence of a letting agent has left them in breach of the law. So it may be worth contacting the landlord to point this out, so they can appoint a new letting agent.

Please note: withholding rent when it is legally due can have serious consequences. I am not a legal professional, so before taking any action, I would seriously recommend talking to an expert.

Also relevant:

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    as annoying as it is, this answer seems the most correct, thanks for taking the time to answer – Ashley Apr 7 at 13:29

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