Campaigns Regulation and Enforcement

RLA fights for landlords repossession rights

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The RLA 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.

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