You are entitled to know the legal entity that owns your freehold and exercises the powers of landlord. But you very likely will be unable to find out who owns this company. E&J Capital Partners, Wallace Estates and the even bigger £1.7 billion Long Harbour funds hide the beneficial ownership of these freeholds, often offshore.
You can ask for your landlord’s details by writing to the person who demands the rent, the person who last received the rent or the person who acts as the landlord’s agent. The person you ask must give you a written statement of the landlord’s name and address within 21 days of receiving your request.
Download a template for requesting details of the landlord’s identity under section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985:
If your landlord is a company, you can write to your landlord, your landlord’s agent, or the person who demands the rent, asking for the name and address of every director and the company secretary. The person you ask must give you a written statement of this information within 21 days of receiving your request.
Download a template for requesting details of the directors and the company secretary, if the landlord is a company, under section 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.
What happens if my landlord fails to provide details of their identity or the identity of the directors and company secretary (if the landlord is a company)?
If your landlord fails to provide the relevant information following your request for details of their identity or the directors’ and company secretary’s names and addresses (if the landlord is a company), and they do not have a reasonable excuse for this, they are committing a summary offence and are liable for a fine of up to £2,500 (level 4 on the standard scale of fines for summary offences) if they are convicted. The local housing authority has the power to start legal proceedings, or you can start them. Local authorities are exempt from prosecution, but registered providers (housing associations) are not.