Gas safe certificates: Some welcome news for landlords

These are unprecedented and uncertain times. Covid 19 has impacted upon the lives of so many individuals/families around the world and for landlords in England and Wales in particular, the current stay by the Courts on most possession proceedings until after 23 August 2020 is creating additional concerns.

The law imposes various obligations upon a landlord prior to the start of an assured short hold tenancy. The Deregulation Act 2015 made it a requirement for landlords of assured short hold tenancies to prepare and disclose  Energy Performance Certificates and where applicable Gas Safety Certificates to tenants.

Concerning Gas Safety Certificates, in  the case of Caridon Property Limited v Shooltz [2018] His Honour Judge Luba QC held that a valid Gas Safety Certificate had to be provided to the tenant prior to the tenant taking up occupation of the premises/property and that a later service of the Gas Safety Certificate was insufficient to free the landlord from the embargo on service of a section 21 notice. In short, due to Caridon Property Limited v Shooltz [2018] a valid notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended) could not  be served onto the tenant by the landlord to recover possession of their property on a non fault basis, if the Gas Safety Certificate was not provided to the tenant before they moved in. This punishment/sanction imposed by this case on landlords seemed very harsh indeed.

In the case of  Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield a similar strict approach was adopted  by His Honour Judge Carr QC.  However, on appeal, on 18 June 2020, it was held by the Court of Appeal that provided a valid Gas Safe Certificate has been provided by the landlord to the tenant  prior to service of a section 21 notice, the initial breach/ failure to provide the Gas Safety Certificate prior to occupancy of the property/premises is capable of being later remedied. The full citation and Court of Appeal decision can be found at the following link below.

https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/trecarrell-house-ltd-v-rouncefield/

As always, regardless of these uncertain times, at Verisona Law we are  at hand to assist you with your  landlord and tenant concerns. Whether it is providing initial tactical advice or the preparation of any notices or even issuing formal Court proceedings we are ready and happy to assist. Contact us today on 02392 98 1000 or email connect@verisonalaw.com 


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