Obtaining possession of a tenancy under s21 and Gas Safety Certificates.

The Court of Appeal has recently given leeway to landlords in relation to s21 notices and gas safety certificates. As we are sure you are aware, residential landlords must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, which require an annual gas safety inspection. This must be provided to the tenant within 28 days of inspection. A current certificate must be given to any tenant before occupation commences. 

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is the no fault ground for possession by a landlord. The notice cannot be served if the landlord is in breach of a prescribed requirement – and it had been argued that a landlord could not seek to bring an assured shorthold tenany to an end if the gas safety certificate was not served on the tenant prior to occupation because this is a prescribed requirement.

In the case of Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield, the landlord gave a copy of the gas certificate to the tenant after she had moved into the property. It was not given prior to her occupation. The Appeal Court held that this was not fatal to the landlord’s s21 notice. 

The Court decided that provided the landlord had given the tenant a copy of a gas safety certificate that was in force before the tenant occupied the property, then an s21 notice could be validly served.

Do remember though the requirement that, as a landlord, you also need to serve, within 28 days of carrying them out, any further certificate relating to a subsequent gas inspection, not just the first one in place at the time the tenancy started

If you have a legal issue concerning this or any other element of Landlord and Tenant Law, whether residential or commercial, why not contact one of Alexander JLO’s expert lawyers for a free, no obligation quotation and see what we can do for you.

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