The introduction of the Deregulation Act 2015 and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 meant that landlords had to comply with a number of specific requirements before they could validly serve a Section 21 Notice. Those requirements included:
- Having an up-to-date gas safety certificate for the property and a copy served on the tenant;
- Having a valid energy performance certificate for the property and a copy served on the tenant;
- The latest version of the government’s “How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England” booklet had to have been served on the tenant.
Before 1 October 2018, the above requirements only applied to tenancies that began on or after 1 October 2015. As of 1 October 2018, tenancies that began before 1 October 2015 will be affected as a result of certain provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015 coming into force.
How those tenancies will be affected depends upon other regulations, though, which is where things get complicated. It is therefore very important that landlords get everything in place prior to serving a Section 21 Notice to avoid the prospect of the possession claim being struck out by the court.
Gas Safety Certificates
In February 2018, a County Court decision in the case of Caridon Properties Ltd. v Monty Schooltz was made. The Judge found that a gas safety certificate needed to be provided to the tenant before they moved in and, if it hadn’t, a landlord was unable to rely on a Section 21 Notice to recover possession of the property.
The Judge decided that this was a “once and for all” chance for the landlord to get it right at the start of the tenancy. If that chance was missed, it could not be rectified at a later date. This is only a county court decision, meaning it is not binding on other courts. Judges could still come to a different conclusion based on the same facts. However, it is important that landlords are aware of this potential defence that could be raised by the tenant.
We act for both landlords and tenants in residential possession claims. Should you be in need of legal assistance, please contact us via email@example.com. Alternatively, speak to a member of our team directly on 0330 123 1229.