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What is a Section 48 Notice?

notice under section 48 landlord and tenant act 1987

Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 requires landlords in England and Wales to provide to tenants with an address in England and Wales to which tenants can send notices. For instance, so that a tenant can send a landlord a notice to quit if they want to terminate the tenancy.

Landlords usually comply with this obligation by including an address for the service of notices in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy for England, and in the Occupation Contract for Wales. However, a landlord can provide a Section 48 notice in writing in a letter or in an addendum to the tenancy agreement or occupation contract.

What is a Section 48 Notice?

A Section 48 “Notice” is a document that tells tenants where they can serve notices on their landlord. The address needn’t be the landlord’s home address as it can be the address of a letting agent or even a solicitor’s office.

Landlords usually include the address in the tenancy agreement in England or or the occupation contract in Wales. It can be provided in a letter or an addendum to a tenancy agreement. There’s no need for it to be in a particular form.

Template wording for a Section 48 Notice

A Section 48 notice quite simply tells a tenant where they should serve a notice on the landlord. Although this information will be in the tenancy agreement, sometimes it needs to be updated. For instance, if the letting agents change, the landlord decides to self-manage, or the landlord moves.

Here is template wording for Section 48 notice advising a tenant of a change of the address for service that shows how simple it can be:

[Date]

Dear [tenant]

Subject: [Name of Property]

I am writing to provide you with notice under Section 48 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 that the address where you need to serve notices on [your landlord/ me as your landlord] shall be [address] [with effect from x date].

Yours sincerely

Does the Section 48 Notice need to be the landlord’s home address?

No. Section 48 just requires the landlord to give an address where the tenants can serve notices in England or Wales. It doesn’t need to be their private home. Many landlords prefer to use the address of their letting agent.

Here is a list of the types addresses that landlords typically provide:

  • Landlord’s home address
  • Business address
  • Landlord’s solicitor’s address
  • The address of the letting agent or managing agent.
  • Address of a friend or relative (popular for landlords who live abroad)

Can the Section 48 Notice be a PO Box?

No. The postal address cannot be a PO box. It must be an actual, physical address.

PO Boxes
The Section 48 Notice must use a real address, and not a PO Box

Does a landlord need to serve a Section 48 Notice if they start to self-manage?

It depends on what address is in the tenancy agreement.. If a landlord takes over the management of a rental property from a letting agent or a managing agent, they should check the tenancy agreement to see what address is already there.

If the address for the service of notices (usually at the end) is the letting agent’s, then the landlord will need to serve a Section 48 Notice on the tenant. On the other hand, if the landlord’s address was already stated in the tenancy agreement, there’s no need to change it.

>> Related Post: How to self-manage your buy to let

What happens if a landlord doesn’t provide a Section 48 address?

Not providing a valid Section 48 address has serious consequences for a landlord.

Under Section 48(2), if a landlord doesn’t give a valid address for the service of notices, then no rent is due for so long as there is no valid address.

Here is the wording from Section 48(2) in full:

Where a landlord of any such premises fails to comply with subsection (1), any rent, service charge or administration charge otherwise due from the tenant to the landlord shall (subject to subsection (3)) be treated for all purposes as not being due from the tenant to the landlord at any time before the landlord does comply with that subsection.
Section 48(2) Landlord and Tenant Act 1987

However, once the Section 48 notice has been validly served, then all rent becomes lawfully due immediately. This means that landlords can claim the backdated rent arrears in full.

What happens when a landlord sells a rental property with tenants?

The new landlord needs to provide a notice under Section 3 Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 within two months of buying the property.

Unlike Section 48, the Section 3 Notice must provide the landlord’s name and home address. There is an exception where the landlord is a company, in which case they should use the company’s registered office or place of business. There is a template in this related post:

>> Related Post: How to buy a property with sitting tenants in England

Landlord guide to section 48 notice
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