Crowd Justice appeal: Gas Safety Certificate and Section 21

by Property 118

10:18 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Crowd Justice appeal: Gas Safety Certificate and Section 21

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Crowd Justice appeal: Gas Safety Certificate and Section 21

Landlord Trecarrell House Limited is being supported by the RLA and has launched a Crowd Justice appeal: “Protecting Landlords Rights: Gas Safety and Section 21” Click Here

The Court of Appeal has now granted the landlord the right to appeal.

The case centres around the lack of a remedy for being able to gain possession using Section 21 if a Gas Safety Certificate has not been issued before the tenant moves in.

The Crowd Justice case summary:

“After serving a section 21 notice, the landlord won the initial hearing for repossession. However, the tenant successfully appealed the decision on the basis that she was not given a gas safety certificate before she moved in.

Since 2015, landlords in England have been required to provide a Gas Safety Certificate to their tenants to show that the gas appliances are in working order. This flat did not have any gas appliances, but the gas safety certificate was still issued after the tenancy started and before the section 21 notice was served.

The Residential Landlords Association is supporting the landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, at the Court of Appeal on the basis that as long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, then the notice is valid.

The main argument is that the current interpretation of the law could potentially breach a landlord’s human rights. This is because it deprives them of their possessions without good reason.

Also, the RLA understands from the government that this was not a consequence that they intended or anticipated from the regulations.

While the failure to provide a gas safety certificate is important, the property was safe and the certificate was obtained. Landlords should not lose their right to possession for what is little more than a clerical error.

This case is of great importance to all landlords. Landlords must have the right to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances. This provides the confidence the private rented sector needs to offer longer tenancies to tenants.

Funds raised will go towards supporting legal costs for Trecarrell House Limited.

The RLA and Trecarrell House Limited would like to take the time to say thank you to everyone for their contributions.”

 

 



Comments

Dr Rosalind Beck

10:38 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Well done to the RLA for supporting this critically important case. I will be donating today and urge others to. If Section 21 is abolished and the 'traps' currently in existence preventing the serving of a Section 21 are ported over to Section 8, this will be of huge importance to all landlords.

Denise G

10:55 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

This flat did not have any gas appliances, but the gas safety certificate was still issued after the tenancy started and before the section 21 notice was served.

Am I reading this correctly?
Are we expected to have provided a GSC even when the property has no gas appliances???

Sue Twyford

11:16 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 21/08/2019 - 10:55I think you read it correctly Denise "This flat did not have any gas appliances, but the gas safety certificate was still issued....." Like you I was confused. Surely no gas, no certificate required. Perhaps it simply had a gas boiler, in which case a certificate is a must, but I'm only guessing. Otherwise, as you say, why would you need a gas certificate for something that doesn't exist? Perhaps someone can clarify.

Bill O'Dell

11:25 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Sue Twyford at 21/08/2019 - 11:16
A gas boiler is an appliance. I would think the landlord would have obtained a certificate for the supply. A Meter inside the property may well have pipes that feed potential appliances and these should be checked for gas tightness.
Agree it is confusing.
Good to RLA funds being used for the greater benefit too.

Seething Landlord

11:36 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Denise G at 21/08/2019 - 10:55
Extract from reports of the case to clarify the issue: "The tenancy was an AST granted 20 Feb 2017 of a self-contained flat in a domestic property. Hot water and heating were provided by a boiler outside the flat. It was common (ground) that no Gas Safety Certificate had been provided or displayed before the start of the tenancy but one was served prior to the service of the Section 21 Notice on 1 May 2018."

Seething Landlord

11:52 AM, 21st August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 21/08/2019 - 11:36
The important issue to be decided by the Court of Appeal is whether the failure to provide the required certificate at the correct time can be rectified by providing it subsequently.

The facts of the case and the breach of the requirement to display/provide a certificate are not disputed.

Denise G

10:30 AM, 22nd August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

so no gas in the property still = no GSC required - as common sense (but not necessary the legal requirements on private landords) would normally indicate

Rob Crawford

13:11 PM, 23rd August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

I think I can recall (have not checked) that this is a bedsit HMO and the landlord's argument was that the tenant rents the bedsit room and not the communal areas where the boiler is located. As such, despite having a valid certificate, the LL did not provide the gas safe certificate to the tenant. Similar approach to EPC's.

Michael Barnes

4:56 AM, 25th August 2019
About 4 weeks ago

If the appeal considers only the facts of this case, then I don't see how human rights comes into it, as the LL is not a human.

Hamish McBloggs

13:00 PM, 26th August 2019
About 3 weeks ago

Murderers are allowed to reform but not a landlord who commits a clerical error or innocently suffers at the hands of a tenant who denies/can't remember receiving a certificate. It is clearly not right.

What about a block of flats, each flat owned by different landlords?

I provide my certificate but this does not presume neighbouring landlords are so diligent. A bad appliance upstairs could potentially damage the life expectancy of all.

Should the prospective tenant have visibility of all certificates from all units plus any appliances that provide a common service e.g. basement boiler room before commencing the tenancy? Should the freeholder provide their certificate?

Hamish

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