This week a landlord called wanting advice on how to evict their tenants who were on a joint tenancy agreement.
After the adviser gathered the relevant facts, it came to light that the landlord had not complied with the serving of the gas safety certificate to the tenant prior to the tenant occupying the property. The landlord did issue the certificate, but this was done late – after the tenant had already moved in.
The relevant legislation relating to gas safety obligations comes from the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Section 36(6) states:
(a) a copy of the record made pursuant to the requirements of paragraph (3)(c) above is given to each existing tenant of premises to which the record relates within 28 days of the date of the check and
(b) a copy of the last record made in respect of each appliance or flue is given to any new tenant of premises to which the record relates before that tenant occupies those premises.
The issue in this scenario is that the landlord has not complied with paragraph b of the above regulations, which state that the gas safety record must be given before the tenant occupies the premises. Unfortunately, the landlord can never comply with this requirement even with the late service of the certificate.
In the recent County Court case of Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz this very issue was addressed. In this case the courts found that since the Gas Safety record had been served late, the S21 was invalid. Whilst this is only a County Court case, it does indicate which way judges are likely to rule on cases. For this reason, our advice to this landlord was that a S21 notice would most likely be deemed invalid and they should instead pursue a S8 notice using grounds if they require possession.
Learn more about gas safety at our Future Renting conference next month, from NAPIT.