How To Beat The Cost Of Living Crisis By Using This Landlord Loophole Against Them

In this article we’ll expose a loophole that landlords in the UK are using right now and explore whether tenants can flip the scam on its head.

Overview

In the UK and around the world, it’s pretty common that when you rent a property, you’ll have a tenancy agreement, which is a contract between you and your landlord.

In this contract, there will be legal terms, responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant, and essentially it allows you to live in the property as long as you pay your rent and follow the rules.

Tenancy types vary from fixed-term to periodic but both the tenant and the landlord have certain rights and responsibilities, regardless as to whether you have a tenancy agreement in place or not.

Your Rights As A Tenant

As a tenant, you have more rights than you may be aware of, covering everything from protecting your deposit through to being able to live in the property peacefully and undisturbed.

Another legal right you have as a tenant in England & Wales is the right to know who your landlord is.

The landlord’s details must be provided to the tenant in order to comply with Section 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.

  • Section 47 of the Act requires that the tenant must be provided with the name and address of the landlord on any demand for rent or other sums due under the terms of the tenancy or long lease.
  • Section 48 of Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 requires landlords to provide an address, which must be in England or Wales, at which notices may be served on them by their tenants or leaseholders.

If this information about your landlord’s identity is not provided, it is recommended that you write to the person or company you pay rent to. Upon receipt of this request, the landlord then has 21 days to respond with the information or risk a fine for failing to do so.

The Landlord Loophole

At Tenant Angels, we’ve uncovered a worrying trend in England & Wales that has been steadily increasing over the past few months, amounting to a landlord loophole which makes it almost impossible for tenants to enforce their rights.

Whilst reviewing tenancy documents for Tenancy Deposit Protection Claims, we’ve witnessed a surge of Limited Companies being listed as the property owner / landlord, however, that isn’t the concerning part.

Upon checking these Limited Companies on the government’s Companies House register, the company name and details listed have either been dissolved, prior to the tenancy starting or often several years before or they simply do not exist and never have.

In addition to being highly illegal, by using a fake or non-existent company on the tenancy agreement, the tenant is left totally stuck with absolutely no way of being able to take legal action against the property owner / landlord if required. It’s also very likely that if you paid one, the landlord probably didn’t protect your deposit either. This means you won’t have the option to dispute unfair deductions and you won’t be able to take your landlord to court for failing to protect your deposit.

Simply put, if the landlord listed on your tenancy agreement is a dissolved company or a company that never actually existed, your tenancy agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on!

Using The Landlord Loophole To Your Own Benefit

We’ve already established that if your landlord doesn’t legally exist, you don’t have any rights as a tenant.

But what about the landlord, do they have any rights?

Does this imaginary landlord have the right to charge you rent? Can this ghost landlord evict you through the courts? Will this mythical property owner be able to increase your rent?

In short, no they cannot, because they do not (legally) exist.

For example, in order to charge rent or serve an eviction notice, the landlord must comply with the housing laws in England & Wales. By using a bogus company name on the tenancy agreement, they’ve already established they probably aren’t the model landlord and we highly doubt they will reveal their property scam by applying to the court to evict you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, whilst the majority of landlords are upstanding and legally compliant, some are not and some don’t even (legally) exist.

We don’t recommend that you withhold your rent, in fact, we suggest that you stick to your end of the deal, look after the property and live peacefully until your tenancy agreement comes to an end. Then give your notice, get your deposit back (if you can) and get out of there!

Finally, before paying a penny to rent a property in England & Wales, carry out your own checks. If a company name is listed as the landlord, look it up on Companies House and if you really want to, you can obtain the Title Register on the HM Land Registry service from as little as £3.00.


Disclaimer

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or a client-solicitor relationship. All information, content, and materials available on this website are for general information purposes only and should not be used as the basis for taking any specific course of legal action.