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Landlords fight for repossession rights

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

THE country’s leading landlord organisation is campaigning to protect the rights of landlords to repossess their properties.

This follows a recent court case in which a landlord’s attempt to regain their property was deemed invalid due to a dispute over a gas safety certificate.

After initially being granted an order to repossess the property using Section 21 powers, 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 this available once the tenancy had begun, the Court ruled that their Section 21 powers were invalid, referring to a previous similar case in which the certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.

The judge in the appeal said that if the gas safety certificate was not served on the tenant before they took up occupation then a Section 21 notice could not be relied on to regain possession, and the situation could not be resolved by serving one after the moving in date.

The RLA is supporting the landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, at the Court of Appeal, on the basis that so long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, then it is valid. It argues that the case could breach a landlord’s rights under European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it deprives them of their possessions.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said:

“Protecting the rights of landlords to repossess properties in legitimate circumstances is key to providing the confidence the sector needs to offer longer tenancies.

“The landlord in this case was not seeking to shirk their responsibilities and provided the certificates that were needed.

“We will fight to ensure that if nothing else, logic prevails.”

Learn more

  • The RLA run courses on Gaining Possession for landlords. You can view upcoming dates for this here.
  • Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights provides as follows:

“Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”

This can be accessed here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights-act/article-1-first-protocol-protection-property.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

6 Comments

  • I believe that this legal ruling was made with reference to the 1993 Gas Regulations. There is no logic between the service of a Section 21 Notice and the gaining of possession. Yet another example of the crazy regulations that are all too prevalent in this industry.

  • This is unbelievable. Why can we not ask the tenants to take responsibility may be a list attached to the contract to say that they have seen or are happy to move in. If I buy a car without proper break or no mot it is my own choice or responsibility to make sure I and others are safe. Property is often rented in a safe and appealing conditions. It is not often given back on those conditions. It is about time that government and the courts stop treating every landlord as a blood sucking individual and treat on equal bases as most might have mortgages on these properties and wonder how long it would take for the lenders to come knocking and I would love to hear a judge denying repossession order or request at least 6 to 12 months none payment.

  • Well done for remember ingrained the rights of the Landlords abused in Inthis society,tenants abusing landlords because they are ”protected”by the Court
    Very bad

  • Surely this is about proof that such a gas safety check has been undertaken. What good is providing a gas safety certificate a week before the section 21 notice is issued, if the tenant has been resident for 5 years. It is a requirement of a landlord so should it not be fulfilled, providing this certificate just so a section 21 can be provided promotes an unsafe environment.

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