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  • Buy-to-Let

    Gas Safety Certificates and Section 21

    I have just published my latest blog which deals with the issue of Gas Safety certificates in the respect of Section 21.

    It is important to understand your legal obligations in this regards.

    Excerpt:

    Landlords, did you know that if you did not provide a gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy (be it a first agreement or written renewal after 1st October 2015), before the tenant moved in, you may find that any Section 21 notice served during the term is invalid?

    This is not a well-known issue, but one that is starting to gain traction following the Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz case back in February 2018.

    At the Central London County Court, landlord Caridon Property failed to obtain a possession order, based on their Section 21 notice, because they failed to serve a copy of a current gas safety certificate BEFORE the tenant moved in on the 13th April 2017; it was served on the 26th April 2017, after the tenant moved in.

    His Honour Judge Jan Luba QC ruled that if a current gas safety certificate was not served on the tenant before they took up occupation of a property then any Section 21 Notice could not be relied on.

    This ruling sent a strong message to housing practitioners and landlords alike.

    Landlords should take the following actions to ensure they are compliant with current regulations regarding gas safety certificates:

    – Ensure tenants are provided with a gas safety certificate in advance of the start of the tenancy and certainly before the tenant moves in.

    – Also remember, as well as the gas safety certificate, you must provide a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) and the new updated (9th July 2018) How to Rent Guide

    – Keep a detailed record of the date and time of issue of the certificate on the tenancy file. Ideally, the tenant should sign an acknowledgement to confirm the time and date of receipt. This could then be used as evidence in any subsequent possession action.

    – In a case where a gas safety certificate was not served at the start of the current tenancy and a replacement tenancy is being contemplated, ensure the latest certificate is served before the replacement tenancy begins.

    ​Read the full blog to fully understand the implications

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    Founder of Landlord Action and Brand Ambassador for Hamilton Fraser

    I have read the full blog but I'm confused because, if I understand it correctly -

    Let's say a tenant was desperate to get into a flat (where the gas safety cert had expired a few days earlier) and the landlord (confident that the boiler is probably going to sail through its next certification) books his gas safe man in for the following day and signs the tenant up there-and-then on a 12 month AST and the gas cert gets issued the next day.

    2 years later, the landlord dies in a car crash and his wife needs to sell the flat.

    So she serves the tenant with 2 months' notice to quit under S.21 and, as the tenant won't move out, she goes to court for a possession order.

    The judge won't have it because of the Caridon v Shooltz case.

    Meanwhile, the tenant has been paying his rent and adhering to the terms of the AST.

    So the landlord's widow can't get possession of the flat indefinitely until the tenant voluntarily moves out or defaults on the AST and a court awards possession for the breach.

    Surely I've got that wrong?

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    no excuse after april 2018.

    The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force on 6 April 2018.

    • introduce a degree of flexibility to the timing of landlords’ annual gas safety checks. This change means that landlords can carry out the annual gas safety check in the two months before the due date and retain the existing expiry date.  This avoids landlords waiting until the last minute and not gaining access, or having to shorten the annual cycle check to comply with the law. There is no change to the legal requirement for an annual gas safety check or for maintenance to be carried out

    more info here

    https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

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    Coming soon Investorsk8.com

    Wisdom - an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. 

    Thank you.

    How about a property you have and the check is due, but it gets put back 7 days after the old one expires? 


    Thanks,

    Rick

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    That court case concerned the issue of a certificate at the start of a tenancy. What is the position if a certificate was correctly issued at the start but in a subsequent year there was a gap because the landlord didn't get it done promptly, either because the tenant was awkward in providing access or simply because it was overlooked. Would this affect a S21?

    (same question as Rickc I guess)

    John

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    I knew some elements had been discussed before in legal section -

    just found thread.  Which I just bumped.

    Best to ask questions in legal section.

    https://www.propertytribes.com/gas-certif...33369.html

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    Coming soon Investorsk8.com

    Wisdom - an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs.