Clarity on Gas Safety Certificates and Section 21 Notices

The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment providing much needed clarity on the validity of serving a Section 21 Notice to Terminate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) and when the landlord must have served a Gas Safety Certificate on a tenant.

 

The landlord’s duty is to provide an existing tenant with a Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days of each gas safety check, at intervals of every 12 months.

 

Liz Shaw, director at Wake Smith Solicitors, looks at the judgment.

 

In Carridon Property Limited v Shooltz in 2018, the High Court found that where a landlord failed to provide a future tenant with a Gas Safety Certificate prior to entering into occupation that was a breach which could not later be remedied.

 

The effect being that a landlord would never be able to serve a Section 21 Notice.

 

This decision was followed in Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield. The landlord appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal held that a landlord may serve a valid Section 21 Notice even if the Gas Safety Certificate is served late and even after the tenant moves into the property.

 

By a majority of 2 to 1, the Court of Appeal took the view that it was not the consequence intended by the legislation to permanently deprive the landlord from serving a valid Section 21 Notice for failure to serve a Gas Safety Certificate.

 

It also held that the landlord may serve a valid Section 21 Notice provided that the Gas Safety Certificate is served before the Section 21 Notice even if the Gas Safety inspection did not take place within the required 12 months.”

 

For further advice on property litigation matters contact Elizabeth Shaw at Wake Smith Solicitors on 0114 266 6660.

 

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