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Call of the week: Gas safety certificates and Section 21

Call of the week

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

Learn more about gas safety at our Future Renting conference next month, from NAPIT.

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Landlord Advice Team

Landlord Advice Team

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4 Comments

  • The Section 21 may actually be valid. Another judge may not be aware of this latest decision and overlook this issue. Well worth going down the Section 21 route if Section 8 is not available. Better than doing nothing.

  • Hi Victoria, I am a current member.
    Does your service offer lawyer representation?
    Also I have issued a section 21 (end of March)…I was advised ‘to wait’ (r3asons to this) by your team – after recently giving a section 8.
    The tenants still haven’t left. They have been cautioned for both anti-social behavoiur/verbal abuse to hot neighbours and new tenant – whom should have moved in last month!.
    I am short of funds, also not helping, the fact the tenants are not working…therefore not paying any rent.
    Can you add a ‘fresh light’ to my circumstances?
    How do I also retrieve the ‘rent to buy booklet’ for example, if the tenants already have it? – Or would I be better issuing another section 21.
    Kind regards..Liz.

    • Hi the best thing to do would be to call our Landlord Advice Team to discuss your situation in more detail. They can be contacted on 03330 142 998.

  • I hope this reaches you as I wanted to make you and all members aware of an issue re Section 21 notice that is currently effecting me.
    I served all the correct notices, had givens gas safe etc to my tenant. Applied for possession and the judge has requested a hearing as
    “I need to prove the tenant was happy to receive tenancy documents via email”

    The tenant had previously agreed in the documentation that she received the Section 21 notice and is not disputing this or its service on the dates stated etc

    Another thing us poor landlords need to take into consideration

    Incidentally this tenant hasn’t paid rent since February, was a mum of my young sons friend at school, sees me most school days and is happily residing in my property for free!
    As I replied to the judges request for a hearing, to my amazement this meant my letter HAD TO be seen by the judge and put back the request for a hearing date to be set by 2 months

    I am at court on 10th September

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