Date Published 20 June 2020
Successes for the private rental sector may seem few and far between these days but the Court of Appeal has now given a legal boost following a key judgement on repossessions.
The case of Trecarrell v Rouncefield centred on the relationship between Section 21 notices and gas safety certificates.
The landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, was initially granted an order to repossess the property using S21 powers; however the tenant successfully appealed on the grounds that they were not provided with a gas safety certificate prior to moving in.
Despite the landlord making the certificate available after the tenancy had begun, courts initially ruled that the S21 notice was invalid, referring to a previous similar case in which the certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.
The Court of Appeal however has now ruled that Section 21 notices are valid provided a Gas Safety Certificate is issued before the notice is given to the tenant, not before a tenant moves into a property.
The landlord's case has been backed by trade bodies including the former Residential Landlords Association which argued that the situation could have breached a landlord's rights under the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it deprives them of their possession.