Landlord details SHOULD go on Prescribed Information, law firm tells agents

A leading law firm has said a landlord’s details should be included on Prescribed Information, even where the agent is fully managing the property, to avoid any possible legal problems with tenancy deposits.

Linda Howard, of Shoosmiths, warned that different judges could place different interpretations on the wording of requirements.

Howard was making her views known after the report on Letting Agent Today about a possession order being overturned because the Prescribed Information gave the agent’s name.

She said: “The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order (2007) seems to make it clear, at 2, (g) (iii) that the name, address, telephone number and any email address or fax number of the landlord, not the agent, must be given.”

She said that at another case in the county court, a duty solicitor raised exactly the point of an agent’s rather than the landlord’s details being given.

The judge adjourned those proceedings because of seeming non-compliance with the Prescribed Information Order.

However, the case went through on the second hearing because the landlord argued that Rules of Agency applied.

Howard said: “The judge accepted this interpretation and argument on that occasion, but I suspect that, if this case had gone before Appeal Court judges, they could find that the agent’s name and address is not sufficient.

“Many agents cannot see why this is necessary when they are fully managing the property, but it would appear that, if the regulations do indeed state that the landlord’s details should be on any Prescribed Information, then that’s what must be done to avoid confusion or misinterpretation.”

She advises agents: “Just to be on the safe side, you should always include the full name, address, telephone number and any email address or fax contact details for the landlord together with contact details for the agent if applicable.”

For Linda Howard’s full opinion on this case, use the link below:

Article courtesy of Letting Agent Today

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