Can I sell though I’m going to trial?

Can I sell though I’m going to trial?

0:03 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago 11

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Hello, I issued my tenants with a s21 which they defended because the first Gas Safety certificate upon moving in was not valid as I didn’t use a Gas Safe engineer.

I went to a possession hearing last week and now it’s going to trial next year.

I’m thinking about selling my property with the tenant in situ now.

My questions are:

Will the current trial still go ahead?

If someone bought the house with my tenant in it, how easy it would it be for them to evict them?

Considering the Gas Safe problem, would they have the same issue?

Thank you,


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Easy rider

10:15 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

AIUI, a landlord can provide a valid gas safety certificate before serving the Section 21. Employ an eviction specialist and they will provide the best legal advice.

Other than that, any obligations that apply to you will apply to the new landlord.

Paul Dorney

10:17 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

The claimant would be different following the sale of your property, the new owner would have to start the process again.


10:38 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

I doubt a buyer would touch it with a bargepole unless they could agree something with the tenant in advance. The outcome of the trial could be unpredictable.

Ian Narbeth

10:42 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Matthew, unless you are prepared to sell at a substantial discount to OMV, you will have to see the trial through. Buyers commonly want vacant possession or a tenanted property. Your property offers no certainty save that you are in a dispute with the tenant.

Neil Heffey

10:56 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

This could be a very costly exercise for you if there was in fact no valid Gas Safety Certificate. The leading case on this comes from the case of Trecarrell House Limited -v- Patricia Rouncefield [2020] EWCA Civ 76

That case involved a landlord who had the Gas Safety Certificate but did not provide a copy to the tenants in time. If you didn't have a valid certificate, from my reading, you would not be entitled to possession via the section 21 procedure.

In circumstances such as these, I would advise to utilise the section 8 procedure if you require possession, but you need to have grounds that satisfy the use of the section 8 procedure.

The rules and regulations governing possession seek to be punitive against property owners who when securing possession are usually awarded fixed costs of around £481 whilst the court fee alone is £355 and other costs usually take a landlord over a £1000.00 at least. (For the majority of cases, the landlords are not even able to recover the costs despite the order in their favour)

Tenants often defend these actions via legal aid which is charged at a much reduced rate for the legal aid agency and the tenant has absolutely no financial liability for their solicitors costs, yet if they are successful, the court will order an award of costs against you, with the solicitors then changing the rate charged to the legal aid agency to private rates and you will end up being liable for substantial legal costs if you lose at trial.

You should see urgent advice on this as whilst you are currently exposed already to thousands of pounds in adverse costs, if you continue to trial and lose the costs will increase significantly.

As you are the claimant in the action, even if you sold the house, your case is still live and you will need to withdraw from proceedings by inviting the court to make an order that you accept that you are not entitled to possession so as to limit your liability.

Judith Wordsworth

10:59 AM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

What about the subsequent landlord gas safety certification? Were these done? Done correctly?

Seething Landlord

12:07 PM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 07/12/2023 - 10:59
Subsequent certificates do not retrieve the situation if there was no valid certificate at the start of the tenancy.

This appears to be a case where the only solution is to give the tenant sufficient incentive to surrender the tenancy voluntarily.


12:26 PM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Out of curiosity why were you serving them a s21 in the first instance?

Jonathan Willis

14:52 PM, 7th December 2023, About 6 months ago

Whilst it was only in a lower court, it has been used by tenants to protect them from s21 eviction.

To the letter of the law, you need a valid gas saftey certificate before the tenancy started, and one every year. If you failed to give the paperwork to the tenant you can recover it, You are allowed to serve the paperwork prior to s21 eviction notice.

But if any of the gas safety certificates were invalid or not done, the Trecarrell House Limited -v- Patricia Rouncefield case says it's can't be fixed.

So look for a reason within s8 notice instead, such as you want to move back in, they are late with rent regularly or in arrears. Otherwise you could well be wasting court fees on the s21 route.

David Houghton

17:32 PM, 10th December 2023, About 6 months ago

If you didn't have proper gsc prior to tenant moving in don't go to trial. You will lose.
Withdraw and start S8.
As to your buyer if you offer vacant possession and can deliver you have serious problems. That said it will probably fall through

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