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Appeal court win for NRLA

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Court of Appeal has today sided with private landlords in a case which threatened the way they could repossess properties.

The case of Trecarrell v Rouncefield centred on the relationship between Section 21 notices and gas safety certificates.

The landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, was initially granted an order to repossess the property using Section 21 powers, however the tenant successfully appealed on the grounds that they were not provided with a gas safety certificate prior to moving in.

Despite the landlord making the certificate available after the tenancy had begun, the Courts initially ruled that the Section 21 notice was invalid, referring to a previous similar case in which the certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.

The Court of Appeal however has today ruled that Section 21 notices are valid provided a Gas Safety Certificate is issued before the notice is given to the tenant, not before a tenant moves into a property.

Prior to the NRLA being formed the Residential Landlords Association supported the landlord, arguing the situation could have breached a landlord’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it deprives them of their possession. A crowd funding campaign set up by the RLA to raise money for the appeal raised more than £7,000.

John Stewart, Deputy Policy Director for the NRLA said:

 “We welcome the clarity that today’s ruling brings for the sector.

“Going forward however, ministers remain committed to eventually getting rid of Section 21 altogether.

“We have been campaigning to ensure that such moves are only made within the context of improvements to the way courts handle cases and clear, comprehensive and timely routes for landlords to repossess properties in legitimate circumstances.

“We are heartened therefore that the Housing Minister has made clear that such changes will only be made “in a considered manner” and not as an immediate response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

3 Comments

  • We recently went to the Appeal Court on a Council Tax banding case. Without support from outsiders and that sense of not wanting to tell anybody else that you’ve been made a fool of and with weariness we took fright and backed off.
    We are challenging the CT Banding f a house that we have had tenanted for more than 20 years.
    We think that there is good reason to say that the Band should be D. It has been Band E since the statrt of the scheme in 1993.
    We have taken it a couple of times to the Valuation Tribunal and being timid we failed on each occassion.
    Now we have recently (June 2020) taken the case to the Appeal Court, but faced with a skillful barrister on the VOA side we took fright and the Judge had no option but to dismiss our Appeal.
    So it is good to see that, with persistence, there can be success at the Appeal Court.
    Anybody else tried reducing the Council Tax Banding of a tenanted house? It a nightmare.

  • Well done to the NRLA. for the gas safety. Landlord’s been increasingly threatened with punishments for procedural breaches, such as this, which apparently cannot be put right retrospectively and go against the practicalities of the relationship between landlords and tenants and against natural justice. A least this pushes back a little.

  • I am currently in the process of evicting a tenant under section 21 Form 3( amended for corona virus). I have attempted to have the Cp12 done twice, with the tenant refusing entry to the gas engineer. The CP12 has now run out. I am also talking to my local council and a local estate agent (whom I did a tenant find for the property). Both have said that I am legally ok to not have a valid CP12 as I have made numerous attempts to get it carried out. I just hope this runs true if and when it goes to court.

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