The Court of Appeal in the case of Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield gave leeway to landlords in relation to the service of the section 21 notices and gas safety certificates.
As landlords are aware, they must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, which require an annual gas safety inspection. The regulation requires the landlords to provide this within 28 days of inspection. A current certificate must be given to any tenant before occupation commences.
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1998 is no-fault ground for possession for a landlord. This notice cannot be served if the landlord is in breach of a prescribed requirement.
It has therefore been argued in the court that a landlord could not seek possession of the property if the Gas Certificate was not served on the tenant at the time of moving into the rented property because this is a prescribed requirement.
In the above case of Trecarrell House, the landlord had given a copy of the gas safety certificate to the tenant after she had moved into the property.
It was clear from the fact of the judgment in this case that a gas safety certificate was not given prior to the tenant’s occupation.
The Appeal Court held that this was not fatal to the landlord’s s21 notice. It was decided by the Court of Appeal that the landlord had given the tenant a copy of a gas safety certificate that was in force before the tenant had occupied the property, then a section 21 could be validly served.