Landlords, did you know that if you did not provide a gas safety cerificate at the start of a tenancy (be it a first agreement or written renewal after 1st October 2015), before the tenant moved in, you may find that any Section 21 Notice served during the term is invalid.
If you gave your tenant a tenancy after 1st October 2015, but failed to serve a gas safety certificate prior to them moving in, then your AST will be treated as an assured tenancy and possession using a Section 21 Notice will not be possible, just as if you failed to protect the tenant's deposit within 30 days.
Landlords need to be aware of the risks that if they go to court, their case may get struck out by the judge. We are sure more judges will be briefed about this legislation and more tenants will be informed about this type of defence.. If you are a landlord in this situation, then you may have to rely on a Section 8 procedure, but this is only possible where there has been a breach of tenancy.
The only way in which this can be rectified is with the introduction of new legislation.
Landlords should take the following actions to ensure they are compliant with current regulations regarding gas safety certificates:
- Ensure that tenants are provided with a gas safety certificate in advance of the start of their tenancy and certainly before the tenant moves in.
- Also remember as well as the gas safety certificate, you must provide a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) and a copy of the new updated (9th July 2018 ) government 'How To Rent Guide'.
- Keep a detailed record of the date and time of issue of the certificate on the tenancy file. Ideally, the tenant should sign an acknowledgement to confirm date and time of receipt. This could then be used as evidence in any susequent possession action.
- In a case where a gas safety cerificate was not served at the start of the current tenancy and a replacement tenancy is being contemplated, ensure that the latest certificate is served before the replacement tenancy begins.