The only control panels I've heard of on LP's Linux/Apache shared servers are cPanel (the older ones) and LPCP (Lunarpages Control Panel). Is there yet a third control panel out there? I've only used cPanel myself, so I can't give any real guidance on LPCP or other control panels. That said, if this an Apache server (not various Windows servers), there has to be an .htaccess file, and there has to be a setting somewhere to make it visible.
I don't remember if my cPanel File Manager hid "dot" files by default -- it may have, but it's so long ago that I don't remember (I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast this morning!). Frankly, that's a really stupid thing for a control panel to do -- there's no reason that would be a useful thing to do, so there should be no way of hiding "dot" files. .htaccess needs to be modified frequently, so why not always show "dot" files? Just because the old Unix systems hid them by default on the "ls" command is no reason to do it here.