Further to my news letter last May there has now been a court case in December 2017 where a landlord served a Section 21 Notice on his tenant and then started accelerated possession. The tenant defended the claim stating that the landlord had failed to give the Gas Safety Certificate to him before he moved into the property and took up occupation, the landlord confirmed to the judge that he had given the tenant a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate but only after he had started the tenancy and already taken possession of the property.
The judge refused the landlord possession of his property as the landlord had fallen foul of the regulations by not giving the tenant a copy of the Gas Certificate before the tenancy started and taking up possession of the property.
The landlord is now in the position where he has to wait until the next Gas Safety inspection is due, carry out the safety check and then give the tenant a new copy of Gas Safety Certificate within the allocated time of 28 days from when it has been carried out for a renewal of a certificate.
The landlord will then need to reapply to the court for the possession of his property and hope that the judge will then rule in his favour, but obviously it would be a test case he may well be in a situation where the judge could rule that he did not carry out his landlord duties and that he may have a sitting tenant. We will look forward to the court case when the time comes around that the landlord is allowed to apply for possession, and how the judge views this.
We of course always get the tenant to sign for the copy of the certificate so that we have proof before any tenant accesses the property, so I can assure you all of my clients are fully covered.
Another Barrister did pick up this case and there has been a second case at the end of January where the tenant successfully defended a possession order, so now the precedence has been set I can imagine there is going to be many more cases like this going forward.
Next month’s newsletter will be on the Data Protection Act. If anyone has any further questions on this please feel free to either ring me or email me.