Court of Appeal Rule in Favour of Landlords on Gas Safety Certificate Case

by Property 118

16:35 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Court of Appeal Rule in Favour of Landlords on Gas Safety Certificate Case

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Court of Appeal Rule in Favour of Landlords on Gas Safety Certificate Case

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.”



Comments

SimonF

18:22 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

This is great news. At least some good news for us battered landlords.

WP

18:49 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Excellent!!!! some commons sense at last prevails. Think I'm going to print this out and frame it! Also added to my file of case law notes for the next time I might need it 🙂

Ian Narbeth

19:07 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Great news indeed but I fear countless landlords will have been ambushed by this in the recent past in the County Courts. Let us thank heaven for small mercies.

Old Mrs Landlord

21:56 PM, 18th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 18/06/2020 - 19:07
A small mercy indeed when we know the Government is committed to the removal of S21, leaving no remedy for unfortunate landlords stuck with tenants whose anti-social behaviour intimidates their neighbours to the extent they dare not testify against them.

Ian Narbeth

11:46 AM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 18/06/2020 - 21:56
Agree completely. Our MPs have been sleep-walking over this. Please, landlords, if you have a difficult anti-social tenant, tell your MP and explain that the law protects the bully's rights against the weak and the vulnerable and that the law threatens landlords with excessive punishments for trivial infringements of complex rules and regulations.

Tenants and neighbours with mental health problems will be hung out to dry if section 21 is abolished. Let your MP know it is his or her fault as there is cross-party support for this foolishness.

WP

11:51 AM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 18/06/2020 - 21:56
I'm in exactly the same position now as you highlight Grrrrr.

terry sullivan

12:00 PM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

remember if central heating needs an upgrade mad boris is intent on banning gas in residential homes--even madder is the fact that the electricity will be supplied by gas fired power stations in part--and the gas will be imported in spite of UKs massive gas reserves accessible by fracking

boris is a joke or is in the game?

Luke P

13:07 PM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 19/06/2020 - 11:46
Combined with the recent Civil Justice Council report (welcomed by the Master of the Rolls, it should be added) that recommends the temporary relaxation of S.8 mandatory grounds even *after* the pandemic is over…we’re completely, utterly screwed!

The Courts should have used lockdown to clear the decks of all pre-Covid cases.

https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/news/suspend-evictions-over-non-payment-of-rent-after-crisis-ends-says-report/

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:40 PM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

... " clarity of todays ruling" !!! - I wish.
The situation about whether there was a current Gas certificate inforce at time the tenancy started, hasn't been settled, only if there WAS, the ability to serve it later and Before the Sec 21.
I've also read that an Appeal is being considered.

Somebody needs to shoot the 'Daftsman' who wrote the De-Reg Act ( and a lot of other Housing Legislation, e.g. Deposits and Penalties, How 2 rent, Tenant Fees ban, EICR starting from 1st of June and 1st of July ! etc )

Chris @ Possession Friend

20:45 PM, 19th June 2020
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 18/06/2020 - 19:07
All the landlords who suffered financially over this should bring a Class action against the Govt for their losses.

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