Judgment in the much-anticipated case of Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield  EWCA Civ was finally handed down on 18 June 2020.
By way of background the landlord did not provide the gas safety certificate to the tenant before or at the commencement of the AST in February 2017 but did however provide a copy prior to serving the section 21 notice (Housing Act 1988) in May 2018. The tenant did not vacate, and the landlord issued a claim for possession in the County Court which was defended.
The landlord was initially granted an order for possession. However, the tenant successfully appealed on the grounds that they were not provided with a gas safety certificate before moving in.
HHJ Carr, assisted by the earlier County Court appeal decision of Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Schooltz, held that the landlord’s failure to provide the gas safety certificate before the tenant occupied the property was a breach that could not be rectified later.
The Landlord, in turn, was given permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal held by a majority that the correct construction of s.21A and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 was that the time period for compliance with both reg.36(6)(a) and (b) was disapplied.
This is good news for landlords, as there is at last clarity that a s.21 notice can be validly served on a tenant provided that the landlord has, prior to serving the s.21 notice, given the tenant a copy of the gas certificate that was in force before they entered into occupation together with a copy of any further certificate relating to any subsequent inspections.
For more information about how our Property Disputes team can help you contact Darryn Harris be email at [email protected].
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