Landlords- why you MUST serve copy of gas safety certificate at start of tenancy
Victoria Barker of Residential Landlords Association states that landlords are being reminded of the importance of serving a copy of a valid gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy, or they risk being unable to serve a Section 21 notice of possession.
In a case that was heard at Central London County court earlier this month, a letting agent failed in their attempt to use a Section 21 route to gain possession of their property.
District Judge Bloom rejected the possession claim, on the basis that at the time the Section 21 notice was served on the tenant, the landlord had failed to provide them with a copy of a valid gas safety certificate before the tenant had moved into the property.
Despite the landlord having provided the tenant with a copy of the new gas safety certificate, following an annual gas safety inspection 11 months later, this made no difference and the Judge still rejected the Section 21 claim.
What this means
Up until now, if a landlord wanted to gain possession of a property through using a Section 21 route to possession, and they had not served their tenants with a copy of a valid gas safety certificate, it was assumed they would have been able to rectify this for example by giving the tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate at a later date.
This case highlights that it is absolutely ESSENTIAL for landlords in England to serve tenants a valid gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy, together with other prescribed documents, if the tenancy began on or after the 1st October 2015 (when the Deregulation Act provisions came into force).
Just as it is critical that all private landlords ensure that all gas equipment in the accommodation that they rent out has a valid gas safety certificate (which lasts for twelve months) it is now equally essential for landlords to share a copy of the gas safety certificate with tenants at the start or renewal of a tenancy.