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Section 21 Notices and Gas Safety: better late than never

View profile for Leah Vincent
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Ensuring that all the boxes are ticked before serving a valid section 21 Notice has been something of a nightmare for landlords in recent years.

Gas Safety Certificates, Energy Performance Certificates, How to Rent Checklists, and Prescribed Information. All must be served properly and at the right time. The list of headaches for landlords goes on. 

The Court of Appeal has however provided some relief for landlords in the case of Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield . It ruled that there is some leeway as to when the Gas Safety Certificate needs to be served on the tenant.

Previously it had been thought that a landlord was required to serve the Certificate before the commencement of the tenancy. Failure to do so presented the landlord with a terminal problem; it meant that the landlord could never serve a valid section 21 Notice and was therefore forever prevented from recovering possession of the property (unless there was some breach by the tenant).

This terminal problem has now been eliminated by the Court of Appeal. Provided that the Certificate is served before the section 21 Notice is served, the landlord can still terminate the tenancy and recover possession. It does not matter that the tenant was not provided with the Certificate before the commencement of the tenancy.

The headaches are still there for landlords, but the Court of Appeal has at least provided some pain relief.

For any questions in relation to tenancy issues, please contact the Property Litigation Team on 01242 586 841 or at aet@hughes-paddison.co.uk.

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