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.
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