Gas Safety and Section 21 Notices: What Landlords Need to Know to Evict Lawfully

Section 21 and gas safety certificatesThis is a question to the blog clinic from Jonathan (not his real name), who is a landlord in England.

I am a landlord and wish to serve a section 21 notice however I did not give the tenant’s a gas safety certificate before moving in.

My understanding from a past county court case is that any section 21 notice served during the tenancy would be invalid because of this.

The tenants have signed an assured shorthold agreement. If and when the contract becomes a periodic tenancy would it then be possible to serve this 21 notice and would it then be valid?

If not is there anyway I could work around this? (A gas safety inspection has been carried out and passed since).

Answer:

It depends on whether you had actually got a gas safety certificate at the time the tenants first moved in or not.

If you did actually have the gas safety certificate at that time but just forgot to serve it, then the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Trecarrel House ltd v Roucefield provides that you will be able to serve your section 21 notice.  So long as, that is, your gas safety certificate had been served first.

The case did not actually settle what happens, though, if you did not have a gas safety certificate at that time  (ie when the tenants first moved in).

The assumption is that you will be permanently barred from using section 21. I am afraid the tenancy becoming periodic would not change this.  Note that the Supreme Court did not allow an appeal in the Trecarrel case.

If you wish to evict your tenant you will have to find some other grounds on which to base your claim.

We have a free guide you can use to help you with this. If you want to find out more about the Trecarrel case, there is a video interview here with Justin Bates, one of the barristers in the case.

The post Gas Safety and Section 21 Notices: What Landlords Need to Know to Evict Lawfully appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.

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