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Update on the Gas safety certificate case – heard in the Court of Appeal

The case of Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield (B5/2019/0499) was heard in the Court of Appeal in the last week of January 2020. 

The question for the court of appeal is whether the Landlords failure to provide as gas safety certificate before the tenant’s occupation is a breach of the prescribed requirements to serve a valid section 21 notice under Housing Act 1988. 

The court will look at whether failing to serve the certificate before the tenant occupies the property is a “once and for all obligation “ failing which result in an absolute bar to serve a section 21 notice (the “no fault” eviction route). Without the ability to serve a s.21 Notice ever in a tenancy the rights of Landlords will be seriously reduced.

The court will also decide whether this amounts to an interference with a landlord’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions (?) under the European Convention on Human Rights.

It’s a much awaited decision for many landlords , practitioners and courts seeking clarity in relation to the changes made to the section 21 by the Deregulation Act 2015. 

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