IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

The Court of Appeal has recently given a judgement on the contentious issue of the failure of a landlord to provide the tenant of an assured shorthold tenancy with a gas safety certificate before the tenant entered into the tenancy or indeed during the term where required.

Since 2018 and a lower court decision, the view has been that if the landlord does not provide a gas safety certificate before the tenancy is entered into or during the tenancy with the annual certificate, then the landlord cannot serve a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Therefore, unless the tenant is in breach of the tenancy, the landlord was unable to terminate the tenancy, even if the landlord had the gas safety certificate but had simply forgotten to give the gas safety certificate to the tenant during the relevant period.

However, the new Court of Appeal case only covers the situation where the landlord has a gas safety certificate for all periods but has failed to serve the certificates. The Court of Appeal has indicated that as long as all relevant certificates are now served on the tenant before the section 21 notice is dated and served, the landlord can proceed with the termination process. What the new case does not cover and is therefore still an issue, is where the landlord does not have a gas safety certificate for all or some of the relevant periods the tenant was in occupation.

If you would like to discuss anything featured in this article or would have any landlord and tenant questions you can contact Nick Armitage, Head of Litigation at Ramsdens by calling 01422 410 570 or email nick.armitage@ramsdens.co.uk.