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Gas safety section 21

Section 21 Notices And Landlords' Gas Safety Certificates5th Oct 2020

by Eric Holt on 5th Oct 2020

Contact Eric Holt

Be Ready To Serve A Section 21 Notice

As a landlord, the extremely frustrating time you’re facing is about to get worse:

  • Covid-19 regulations are delaying you from regaining access to your property – and the infection rate is becoming more serious by the day so more severe lockdown measures may be needed
  • rent arrears are worsening because your tenants may have been made redundant, been forced to accept pay cuts or are on furlough (which is about to be replaced with less generous support).

You want to replace non-paying tenants with better prospects who are in more secure employment and are less likely to go into arrears. But you can’t – because the government has extended the legal notice period for Section 8 and Section 21 notices.

Unless your tenants commit a serious transgression (such as domestic abuse, attending a riot or failing to pay rent for six months), they’re likely to be unevictable for six months.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. You should use this time to prepare.

Are Your Gas Safety Certificates Up To Date?

Gas safety certificates are vitally important to help ensure the safety of your tenants and your properties. Furthermore, you need one in place to be able to serve a Section 21 notice.

Earlier this year that legal position was clarified by an important case – Trecarrell House Ltd vs Rouncefield [2020] EWCA – at the Court of Appeal.

The court ruled that a landlord who failed to provide a gas safety certificate at the start of the tenancy could still service a Section 21 notice…provided that they had sent the certificate to the tenant before serving the Section 21 notice.

However, it is important to note that the tenant has appealed this decision. So the matter is far from over. But the Court of Appeal ruling does provide an important clarification for the present.

Whatever happens, the message is simple: if you haven’t sent your tenants a gas safety certificate then we recommend that you do so immediately – you won’t be able to serve a Section 21 notice until you do.

Find Out More About Serving Eviction Notices

Section 21 (and Section 8) notices can be fraught with procedural considerations that can delay evictions if you get them wrong.

Find out more about the correct way to serve Section 8 and Section 21 notices – contact Coles Miller debt recovery manager Eric Holt for more information.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.