For most of us, renting is a pretty impersonal affair – you hand over the cash each month and expect to basically be left alone in return. After all, that’s really what you’re paying the money for; exclusive possession of the property during the time that you live in it without unnecessary interruption from the landlord. However, even though you might not want to be the best of friends with your landlord that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to know who he, she (or it) is.
There are any number of reasons why you might want to get in touch with your landlord. On a very practical level, if there is something that needs doing in the property and it’s not managed by an agent then you’ll need to go directly to the landlord in order to notify them of the issue. This could be repairs, structural issues or even something like a problem with a neighbour that the landlord might be able to have some positive influence on if they’ve lived in the property before you.
You might also need to go direct to the landlord if you’re having problems with the managing agent. This, unfortunately, is quite common – especially in London – and sometimes landlords simply aren’t aware of the damage the agent is doing to landlord/tenant relations simply by being reticent when it comes to repairs, uncommunicative or rude (if you’re having trouble with an agent you could always recommend that your landlord switches to one with a better reputation – take a look at our database of vetted agents for some inspiration on those who have a good name). There may also be an emergency that you need to notify the landlord of and if you don’t have their contact information then it might be hard to get any kind of satisfactory response.
Knowing who your landlord is actually so important that it’s a right enshrined by law – in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which gives you the right to have the name and address of the landlord. If you ask someone who is representing a landlord (for example, the agent) for this information and they don’t hand it over then they’re breaking the law and can be fined for that. In order to get hold of the landlord’s contact details you need to request them in writing. You must also have paid rent on the property and you need to allow at least 21 days for a response. A good place to check for the landlord’s contact details is in the tenancy agreement – they are usually included here and this is probably the best first port of call before asking a third party for the information.
Remember that good communication is key to happy landlord and tenant relationships and you’re entitled to have the information that you need to communicate with.