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Life's a Gas! (But Not if You're a Landlord)
Life's a Gas! (But Not if You're a Landlord)

When letting a residential property there are certain pre-conditions with which a landlord must comply.

If the property to be let has a gas supply, then it is essential that before the tenant occupies the property the landlord supplies to the tenant a valid gas safety certificate.

In addition, it is also essential that the landlord provides existing tenants with a copy of the gas safety certificate which must be obtained annually within 28 days of that check being carried out.

Two recent cases (one of which was decided in February of this year) have determined that unless the rules are adhered to, particularly in relation to timing in respect of the service of the gas safety certificates on the tenant, then a landlord will be precluded from serving a notice to quit (i.e. a Section 21 Notice).

The effect of this is that provided the tenant does not breach the terms of the tenancy agreement the landlord has no right to terminate the tenancy.

The practical effect of this is that the tenant will become, for all intents and purposes, a sitting tenant and this could have serious implications for a landlord if, for instance, there is an intention either to refinance, sell or redevelop the property.

The only glimmer of hope that a landlord will have in this situation is that the two cases were decided in the County Court which means that the decisions do not necessarily bind future Court cases although they will be persuasive.

However, no landlord wishes to be placed in the position of being unable to terminate a tenancy and, therefore, it is imperative that the landlord adheres to the strict requirements in relation to the service of gas safety certificates.

For more information on any of the above, please contact Steven Porter, by email:sporter@jpclaw.co.uk, or by telephone: 020 7644 6091 or contact his via LinkedIn profile.

 

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