Landlord Law conference important update on Gas Certificates

by Neil Patterson

14:24 PM, 23rd May 2018
About 3 years ago

Landlord Law conference important update on Gas Certificates

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Landlord Law conference important update on Gas Certificates

Last Friday I attended the excellent and very informative Landlord Law Conference, which I thoroughly recommend to anyone. In particular it helped me keep completely up to date with all the latest legislation that has passed and is likely to be passed.

However, during the lecture by Sam Madge-Wyld (Barrister-at-Law) for Tranfield Chambers, there was a case revealed that nearly made me fall out of my chair. The lecture was 2018: The year in Review and looked at new legislation and cases over the past year.

The Caselaw

Caridon Property:td v Monty Shooltz. Central London County Court 2nd Feb 2018, HHJ Luba QC. The decision which was upheld on appeal in County Court was that:

A Landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice if they have failed to provide a new tenant a copy of the most recent gas certificate before the tenant occupies the premises.

Under the Deregulation act on tenancies started or renewed from 1st Oct 2015 a gas safety certificate must be supplied before a section 21 eviction notice can be issued. However, this new decision means a section 21 cannot be issued during the tenancy where a gas certificate was not issued before the tenancy started.

The error cannot be rectified by supplying the gas certificate at a later date!

This decision is not binding on other courts outside London, but many consider it the correct interpretation of Parliaments intended regulation. Therefore, this could be coming further down the track for all landlords so make sure you are compliant from here on in.

This case was written about by Tessa Shepperson of Landlord Law on 13/02/2018 and full details of the case and implications can be read in her article if you Click Here.


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Comments

Chris @ Possession Friend

16:46 PM, 30th May 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 30/05/2018 - 16:09
Michael,
I understood it was the opposite way round. A Statutory PT is a new Tenancy ( as was the case in Leeds v Broadley re Council Tax, - ) which is why Landlords organisations are now writing their AST to run on as Contractual, instead of Periodic, which they used to.

Jim S

20:50 PM, 30th May 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 30/05/2018 - 16:46
Hi Chris,

Yes that's the way that I understand it.

Michael Barnes

0:46 AM, 2nd June 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 30/05/2018 - 16:46
Michael,
I understood it was the opposite way round. A Statutory PT is a new Tenancy ( as was the case in Leeds v Broadley re Council Tax, - )

That is what I said (except for Broadley, which was about contractual periodic tenancies).
And my initial comment (to which you replied) was about SPTs.

Mandy Thomson

19:20 PM, 7th June 2018
About 2 years ago

Just when you thought the fallout from Caridon v MS couldn't get much worse, I learned about a tenant the other day who knows all about Judge Luba's ruling and is using it against the landlord.

The landlord wanted to do a tenancy renewal then serve s.21, but the tenant wasn't having it and actually told the landlord he wasn't going to be able to evict him...

Giles Peaker

22:57 PM, 7th June 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 07/06/2018 - 19:20
Well that was rather inevitable, sooner or later. So, up to the landlord to decide on taking a punt on the possession claim or waiting for a s.8 ground.

Heather G.

15:44 PM, 4th July 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 25/05/2018 - 16:27
Hi Hamish,
I do all the things you've listed for a new tenancy but I didn't know about creating co-signed letters to be a third party user on services/council. Would it be possible to share/email a template of such a letter please?
Many thanks,
Heather.

Hamish McBloggs

18:29 PM, 4th July 2018
About 2 years ago

Heather,

So sorry I missed your question. Sometimes good email ends up in the junk and I was having a tidy and found it. Even Mrs McBloggs ends up in the dodgy basket sometimes.

The template I use is straight forward ...

*************************************************************************
Salubrious Manor
Down the Hill
Somewhere Posh
Near Europeland

17th Feb 2018
Thames Water Customer Services
Thames Water
PO Box 286
Swindon
SN38 2RA

Dear Sirs,

I am the tenant of the above address from 03 March 2018.

I give my landlord below permission to discuss my account with you as a 'Third Party User':

Laird Hamish McBloggs
Big Castle
Up the Hill
Somewhere Posh
Near Europeland

Yours faithfully

Signed

Tenant Landlord

***************************************************************************

I post the letters once they are in and we have both called to ensure details are passed on correctly. Therefore there is an account set up for the letter to make sense.

Points I would note for Power companies:

* I'm convinced this measure was introduced as power companies are losing money due to errant tenants.
* I'm not sure all power companies do this. SSE does.
* You should phone and discuss but you will find that this measure is not at all well communicated internally at SSE, even on the 'landlord's line' and you will be put on hold
* If you permit your tenant to shop around for the best deal then the 'third party user' does not transfer and you have to do it all again.
* My tenants should tell me but generally don't until I ask and then they don't know and can't find the information.

Points to note for our LA for Council tax:

*They say that they need permission in writing but when I have phoned I have received a refusal to discuss.

Points to note about Thames Water:

*They responded 'We have never heard of it but you can send a letter if you want'.

As a general comment for all, none of them respond. I think it's a bolt on system and consequently doesn't work well at all.

I haven't actually used this 'power' yet and to do so feels a bit grubby and intrusive. But we have to have some defence or be able to head problems off at the pass. If a tenant leaves with significant arrears I can always tell. It's the way I'm not dealt with by tier 1 support and am passed trough to another department to be quizzed. I have had solicitors drawn once before to get control back and prevent a physical disconnection. (It had taken me about a year to follow the slick legal eviction processes during which time the debt racked up)

'tis all a bit shambolic and flaky.

Hamish the Tardy

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