Section 21 notices and Gas Safety Certificates

Landlords who let property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy may be aware of the important requirement introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 that tenants of residential property have to be provided with a gas safety certificate prior to taking up occupation of the Property.

The significance of this requirement was shown all too clearly when the High Court decided in the case of Caridon Property Limited v Shooltz (2018),that if the landlord failed to provide such a certificate at the outset of the tenancy then that amounted to a breach which could not be remedied.

This meant that the Landlord could not serve a section 21 notice seeking to terminate the tenancy. This was the case even if a certificate was served late.

Essentially this prevented a landlord from terminating a tenancy on no fault grounds.

However, a recent decision by the Court of Appeal has altered that position.

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield (2020) has stated that a section 21 notice can be served even if the Gas Safety Certificate is served late. However, in order to be valid, the Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to the tenant prior to the service of the section 21 notice.

This is good news for landlords. However, it is always best to comply with the legislation in the first place as the regulations carry potential criminal sanctions for failing to comply with the statutory obligations.

This article is for guidance only and does not represent legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.