Can My Landlord Contact My Employer?

mariam-abu-hussein
Mariam Abu HusseinLegal Assessment Specialist @ Lawhive
Updated on 25th October 2023

If you’re a tenant renting a property in the UK, you might be wondering if there are any circumstances where your landlord can contact your employer, for example if you fall behind on rent or if a dispute arises between you and your landlord.

can-landlord-contact-my-employer

In this article, we’ll look at instances where a landlord might contact your employer, what they should do beforehand, and your rights if a landlord contacts your employer in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons.

Can a landlord contact my employer?

A landlord can contact your employer if they have a legitimate reason to. However it is good practice for them to get your permission first or have a valid reason.

Reasons why your landlord might contact your employer

For reference checks

Some landlords might contact employers, by phone or email, as part of their reference checks.

Most landlords and letting agents will do these checks to show you can afford the rent on a property, and will ask you to provide contact details for your employer and give them consent to approach them for a reference.

As part of their Landlord duty of care

All landlords have a duty of care to their tenants when it comes to their health and safety while living in their rental property.

If your landlord has tried to get in touch with you by phone, email, text and letter but they are unable to contact you, they might contact your employer to check on your welfare.

Can a landlord call my employer and discuss late rent?

There is no law that says a landlord can’t call your employer about missed rent payments. They might do this if they have tried to contact you through other methods but have been unable to get in touch with you. However, this is not best practice.

The usual consequence of rent arrears is eviction, which is a legal process with set stages. None of these stages require a landlord to get in touch with your employer and discuss rent arrears with them.

Can my employer share personal information with my landlord?

An employer can’t share your personal data or information without a lawful basis, such as your clear consent or they have a legal obligation to.

If your landlord contacts your employer and shares your personal data without a lawful basis, this could be a personal data breach and, if this breach causes you harm, then you may be able to make a claim against your employer.

Is my landlord contacting my employer classed as harassment?

Whether your landlord contacting your employer could be classed as tenant harassment depends on a number of factors, including their approach and motivations.

It’s important to note that it’s not unacceptable or unreasonable for your landlord or agent to contact you about missed payments or arrears.

However, under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, it is an offence for your landlord to interfere with the peace or comfort of a tenant or anyone living with him or her. This includes pressuring you with threats of illegal eviction or regularly turning up at your home demanding money.

If a landlord contacts your employer intending, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe that doing so would cause you to leave your home, stop using part of it, or stop doing the things a tenant should normally expect to be able to do, then you may be able to apply for an injunction to stop the harassment, or complain to your local council about your landlord.

However, it may be hard to prove that this type of action counts as harassment. If this is the case for you, it may be wise to seek help from a specialist landlord and tenant solicitor who would be able to advise on your actions.

Can my employer take disciplinary action if my landlord contacts them about rent arrears?

Generally, an employees’ conduct outside of work is not grounds for dismissal. Therefore, it is unlikely an employer would take disciplinary action solely based on your landlord contacting them about rent arrears.

But it’s important to remember that each employer will have its own policies in place around conduct in, and outside of, the workplace, so it’s a good idea to review the terms of your contract and your workplace’s policies and procedures.

If your employer does take disciplinary action due to your landlord’s actions, it’s very important to seek legal advice, as there are laws and protections in place to safeguard employees from unfair treatment.

Conclusion

In summary, it is not illegal for your landlord to contact your employer in certain circumstances, like getting a reference before you start renting. However, when it comes to dealing with landlord and tenant disputes around rent arrears, damages or eviction, it is not common, or good, practice for landlords to contact employers.

The best way to minimise the risk of this happening is to talk to your landlord if there is a problem and try to solve it together quickly and amicably. Ignoring a situation can cause it to escalate and your landlord may feel they have no choice but to contact your employer to force you to respond.

This is especially important for problems like missed or late rent payments. In talking to your landlord you might be able to reach an agreement rather than go through the eviction process and the challenges that might bring.

If you do encounter difficulties of this nature with your landlord and talking to them doesn’t solve the problem, or you believe your employer breached your data protection rights in speaking to your landlord, get in touch with our expert landlord and tenant solicitors today to discuss your case, as you may be able to take legal action.

Share on:

Get legal help the hassle-free way

We have expert solicitors ready to resolve any type of legal issue in the UK.

Remove the uncertainty and hassle by letting our solicitors do the heavy lifting for you.

Get Legal Help

Takes less than 5 mins

We pride ourselves on helping consumers and small businesses get greater access to their legal rights.

Lawhive Ltd is not a law firm and does not provide any legal advice. Lawhive Ltd uses a network of licensed solicitors to provide legal work directly to clients through our online platform. Please read our Terms for more information.

Our network includes our affiliate company, Lawhive Legal Ltd. Lawhive Legal Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with ID number 8003766 and is a company registered in England & Wales, Company No. 14651095.

Lawhive Legal Ltd is a separate company from Lawhive Ltd.

© 2024 Lawhive
86-90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE

Version: 10d8c6d