No Gas Safety Certificate No Section 21

gas safety

We thought we would bring this to the attention of landlords and followers of our blog.

On the 2nd February 2018 an appeal was upheld, and a Section 21 possession claim was dismissed as the landlord serving the notice had not complied with the requirements of Regulation 2 of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015, in that a gas safety certificate had not been provided to the tenant at the start of the tenancy, before the tenant took up occupation.

In the case of Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz at Central London County Court the landlord failed to provide the tenant with a valid gas safety certificate at the beginning of the tenancy but did provide one some 11 months into the tenancy, prior to issuing a Section 21 notice.

Although this decision was only made at county court level in London and will likely be heard at the court of appeal it certainly hammers home the importance of issuing the prescribed documents at the beginning of each tenancy as well as having a clear paper trail that the tenant actually took receipt.

A second case has come to our attention In Assured Property Service Ltd v Ooo a District Judge has held that a Section 21 notice is invalid because the landlord failed to provide the tenant with a gas safe certificate at the outset of the tenancy.

The landlord was initially awarded possession using the accelerated possession route, but this was appealed by the tenant on the basis that the section 21 notice was invalid because she had not been given a gas safe certificate at the commencement of her tenancy pursuant to s.36(6) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

What is more alarming the court suggested that the failure to serve a gas safety certificate at the outset of the tenancy was a breach that could not be rectified and so a section 21 could never be served in respect of this tenancy.

Please be aware that the above ruling will not affect a landlords ability to gain possession of a property in Wales if a gas safety certificate wasn’t issued prior to the commencement of the tenancy.  However, we suggest it is good practice to do so along with an Energy Performance Certificate.  We would recommend including both documents in the tenancy agreement and recording their provision in the inventory.

If you would like to swap your property to a low cost letting agent based in Cardiff that reduces your operating costs while maintaining high levels of customers service, please complete the contact form below:

Changes to Accelerated Possession in England and Wales

Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has updated the N5B accelerated possession claim form.

The N5B form is used by those seeking possession of a property let under an assured shorthold tenancy on the expiry of a Section 21 notice. The process is referred to as accelerated because the court usually makes an order for possession without a hearing. However, the old form had long been considered out-of-date because it failed to address the changes to the validity of a Section 21 notice introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 and Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

The new form N5B now requires landlords to respond to certain questions including:

  • Was the landlord registered?
  • If Yes, state the registration number
  • Was the landlord licensed?
  • If Yes, state the license number?
  • Had the landlord appointed a licensed agent to be responsible for all the property management work in relation to the dwelling?
  • If Yes, give the details of the licensed agent:
  • Was a money deposit received in relation to the tenancy or in relation to a tenancy directly or indirectly replaced?
  • On what date was the prescribed information given?

There are some differences to the N5B form for England as landlords will be required to provide information relating to the following questions:

  • When was the deposit lodged?
  • Has a valid EPC been given free of charge to the tenant?
  • Has a copy of the gas safety record been given to the tenant?
  • Has the tenant been given a copy of the then current document ‘How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England’?

The new form must be used by those seeking possession through the accelerated route now and certainly for those assured shorthold tenancies that commenced on or after 1 October 2015. Those issuing their claim form in Wales will need to use form N5B Form Wales.

At High Yield Property Management we aim to provide landlords with a low cost fixed price property management solution for just £50.00 per month and a tenant find service for just £150.00 without compromising on our exceptional levels of customer service.

If you would like to increase your rental income and receive a professional property management service from experienced landlords based in Cardiff do not hesitate to contact us via telephone 0845 496 0000 or complete the contact form below to receive a call from one of the team.