Protecting Landlords Rights: Gas Safety and Section 21

by Elizabeth Helen Tripconey

Protecting Landlords Rights: Gas Safety and Section 21

by Elizabeth Helen Tripconey
Elizabeth Helen Tripconey
Case Owner
The Residential Landlords Association is the national voice for landlords. Representing over 35000 landlords, the RLA is the UK's leading landlord association.
Funded
on 23rd August 2019
£7,035
pledged of £10,000 stretch target from 225 pledges
Elizabeth Helen Tripconey
Case Owner
The Residential Landlords Association is the national voice for landlords. Representing over 35000 landlords, the RLA is the UK's leading landlord association.

Our case:

The case centres around a landlord who attempted to regain possession of their property using section 21.

After serving a section 21 notice, the landlord won the initial hearing for repossession. However, the tenant successfully appealed the decision on the basis that she was not given a gas safety certificate before she moved in. 

Since 2015, landlords in England have been required to provide a Gas Safety Certificate to their tenants to show that the gas appliances are in working order. This flat did not have any gas appliances, but the gas safety certificate was still issued after the tenancy started and before the section 21 notice was served.

On appeal in the county court, the judge concluded that the new regulations meant that where a landlord has failed to give the tenant a gas safety certificate before they occupy the property, this is a breach that cannot be remedied later, and as such the landlord can never rely on a section 21 notice.

This is the only one of the required documents that can potentially permanently deprive you of your right to regain your property. 


The Court of Appeal has now granted the landlord the right to appeal. 



The Residential Landlords Association is supporting the landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, at the Court of Appeal on the basis that as long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, then the notice is valid. 

The main argument is that the current interpretation of the law could potentially breach a landlord's human rights. This is because it deprives them of their possessions without good reason.

Also, the RLA understands from the government that this was not a consequence that they intended or anticipated from the regulations.

While the failure to provide a gas safety certificate is important, the property was safe and the certificate was obtained. Landlords should not lose their right to possession for what is little more than a clerical error.


This case is of great importance to all landlords. Landlords must have the right to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances. This provides the confidence the private rented sector needs to offer longer tenancies to tenants.


Funds raised will go towards supporting legal costs for Trecarrell House Limited.

The RLA and Trecarrell House Limited would like to take the time to say thank you to everyone for their contributions.

For further information on this, please visit the RLA's website: https://news.rla.org.uk/reforming-possession/ 


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