Following recent cases of judges refusing possession claims when landlords failed to serve a gas safety certificate prior to the start of a tenancy, landlords will be relieved to learn that an appeal to these rulings has been allowed and is scheduled for January 2020.
As it stands, landlords failing to serve a gas safety certificate at the start of an AST are barred from using the Section 21 no-fault evict process indefinitely. This may or may not be important long-term as the government has committed to abolishing s21, but given all that’s going on with the political situation, Parliament may not be in a position to do much about this in the short term.
A recent county court decision in Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Schooltz, circuit judge HHJ Luba QC held that a landlord’s failure to provide the gas safety certificate before the tenant occupied the property was a breach that could not be rectified later. As a result, the landlord was prevented from using the section 21 procedure to regain possession. This decision was later verified by HHJ Carr in the Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield county court appeal.
The decisions’ reasoning revolved around the interpretation of the legislation set out in s21A of the Housing Act 1988 and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 under the Deregulation Act 2015. This linked Section 21 to a landlord’s gas safety obligations under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (the “Gas Safety Regulations”).
However, a grant of permission to appeal has been given in the case of Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield and has been set for January 2020.
The appeal will be based on a landlord’s right to peaceful enjoyment of his property contrary to Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Solicitors Anthony Gold say:
“We understand this is the first case where a senior court will consider the human rights implications of the regulations and how they have been interpreted. The decision is therefore likely to have significant consequences for landlords, tenants and judges who have been grappling with these issues in the county courts.”
Specialist property solicitors, Anthony Gold are acting for the landlord who is being assisted by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA). Justin Bates and Brooke Lyne of Landmark Chambers will be representing the landlord before the Court of Appeal.