A Simple Certificate Stands In The Way Of Evicting Residential Tenants

Courts are enforcing strict rules on landlords for providing gas safety certificates to tenants before they more in, should they later wish to serve a section 21 notice to end the tenancy.

A second legal case (Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz) has confirmed that a landlord who fails to provide a gas safety certificate before the start of a residential tenancy cannot later terminate the tenancy by using a section 21 notice. There are significant implications here, as a simple certificate could stand in the way of landlord's regaining possession of their property.

Whilst it may seem reasonable that as long as the tenant has copies of the certificate(s) within a reasonable time, the judge emphasised that the act was written in this way to ensure the importance of tenants receiving assurances that properties are safe in advance of moving in.

The remaining alternative for a landlord is to serve a Section 8 notice, but this requires some wrongdoing by the tenant, usually rent arrears, and there may not be such grounds to rely on.

Paul Oldershaw, Head of Commercial Property, commented; "When arranging a new letting, landlords must ensure they do not fall foul of requirements like these certificates. Whilst it may seem like just 'a simple piece of paper', it can cause problems down the line when trying to regain possession of your property."

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