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Gas Safety Court Appeal

 
19/06/2020

Landlords can breathe a sigh of relief this morning after a ruling yesterday by the Court of Appeal in the case of Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield 


To give a quick background to the original case, the Tenant (Ms Rouncefield) refused to leave a property after the Landlord (Trecarrell House Limited) served a Section 21 notice on her. Her defence was that the Section 21 notice was invalid because the Landlord had not complied with the Prescribed Requirements listed in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 which require a Landlord to serve at the start of a tenancy a number of documents including a valid Gas Safety Record.


There is also an additional requirement in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations to provide a copy of a valid Gas Safety Record on occupation. 


In this case the Landlord had not done this and the tenant argued successfully in the County Court that as the Landlord had not done this the Section 21 notice was invalid. You can well imagine the impact this original ruling had on Landlords across the Country. 


The Landlord appealed and although the Judges were split the appeal was upheld meaning that a Section 21 notice IS valid as long as a) there was a valid Gas Safety Record in place and b) it was served at some point before the Section 21 was served. However, there is still a breach of the Gas Safety Regulations although this is a separate matter. 


It is understood that a further appeal by the tenant is being considered so this may well not be the last we hear. 


This whole debacle of a case shows the absolute importance of getting it right at the start, and during the tenancy. It always makes us chuckle when we watch a drama or soap on the telly of a tenant being handed the keys to a property within a few hours of agreeing to rent it with no regard to any of the legal procedures involved. Or when a Phil Mitchell type character carries out an on the spot eviciton. Perhaps we'll send this blog to the writers..... 


You can read an excellent summary of the case here


 


 


Please note the date this article was published as the law may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.

 
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