18 Jul What does a Gas Safety Certificate and Serving Section 21 notice to evict a tenant have in common for Landlords? Everything!
A Recent Legal Case Raised Concerns about Possession Rights for Landlords.
If the real estate sector is to give its backing to the availability of longer tenancies, it is imperative to ensure that the rights of landlords and future real estate investor’s in the United Kingdom to repossess a property are protected. However, the circumstances leading to repossession should be legitimate.
The government is in favour of longer tenancies being available in the private real estate sector. But landlords have showed some resistance as they are concerned about their possession rights. They fear that longer tenancies may prevent them from getting their property back.
In the case of Trecarrel House Limited v Rouncefield, the landlord attempted to regain their property, but their attempt was deemed invalid by the court. This resulted from a dispute over a gas safety certificate. In this case, the landlord was granted an order by the court to repossess their property using Section 21. However, the tenant appealed to the court that the landlord didn’t provide them with a gas safety certificate before they moved in.
The landlord made this available to them after they had moved in. So, the court ruled that the Section 21 was invalid in this case. The judge said that a landlord could not rely on a Section 21 notice if they did not provide a gas safety certificate prior to the tenant moving in. He added that the landlord couldn’t resolve the situation by serving the certificate after the tenant had moved in.
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, a landlord is required to keep a record of the gas safety check for two years. Moreover, they must issue a copy of gas safety certificate to any new tenant before they move in. If this isn’t done, then no Section 21 notice can be served.
Landlords should therefore ensure that they comply with all the requirements prescribed under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. They should provide a gas safety certificate before the tenant moves in, not after it. It was a common practice among landlords to serve the gas safety certificate after the tenant had moved in. However, the recent court case has confirmed that this is an incorrect approach.
If a landlord fails to provide the gas safety certificate to the tenant before they move, then Section 21 Notice is invalid. The Residential Landlords Association is supporting the landlord in this case and their argument is that the gas safety certificated is valid if the landlord provides it before the Section 21 notice is served. They are wrong and if you want to rely on a Section 21 notice, it is imperative that you meet all the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
If you need more information about your possessions rights as a landlord, ask your real estate advisor at London’s Real Estate Broker, Stonelink International.
Call the Stonelink International team on + 44 (0)207 993 4081 or email today with your concerns and questions.