Here is a question to the blog clinic from Boag who is a tenant:
I recently discovered by getting a copy of the land register that the name of my landlady in the letting agreement is not exactly the same as on the register.
For instance, on the register, the name is Paula Edwards Jones and in the agreement it is Paule Jones.
Does this make the agreement null and void? What section of the Housing Act or any other legislation refers to this?. What is the tenant’s entitlement if the tenancy agreement is null and void?
The fact that the landlord’s name is different to that on the Land Registry will not make the tenancy null and void.
In your case this is obviously the same person, she has just left out her middle name and spelled the first name slightly differently.
But even if the name was something completely different such as Winston Smith or Rajeev Patel, this would not void the contract.
There is a longstanding rule which says that a tenant is not able to challenge the landlord’s title. It is not set out in statute, it is a common law rule.
There could anyway, be a perfectly legitimate reason why the name of a landlord is different from the name on the Land Registry.
- The landlord could have recently married or changed their name by deed poll
- The property may have been recently sold to the landlord and the transfer of title may not yet be showing on the register
- The property could have been let to the landlord on a short term let of under 7 years (which does not need to be registered) under a ‘rent to rent’ arrangement
Mind you I do think that tenants should carry out checks on their landlord’s title before they rent, in the same way that landlords carry out checks on tenants.
It is not unknown for criminals to pose as landlords of properties they do not own and tenants can lose a lot of money this way.
However once you sign the tenancy agreement it is too late. You are bound by the agreement.
If though you lose your deposit and first month’s rent because the tenancy never started or if you are evicted by the ‘true’ owner of a property if the property was let without their consent, you will have a claim against your landlord.
But they will probably be long gone by then.