Real Estate

What does the new Trecarrel House vs Rouncefield Supreme Court decision mean for landlords?

The Supreme Court’s decision means that the interpretation of the law accepted by Court of Appeal’s in June 2020 remains binding on District Judges who deal with possession claims.

The Court of Appeal’s decision was greeted as a good outcome for landlords.

It has meant that where a landlord has failed to provide a new tenant with the last gas safety certificate before occupation they are able to remedy this by providing the certificate late.

That was a welcome relief to the many responsible landlords fearful that accidental mistakes in providing tenants with certificates could result in them permanently losing the ability to serve a section 21 notice.

Furthermore, a failure to complete a subsequent annual check on time will not bar the landlord from serving a section 21 notice provided the certificate is given to the tenant prior to serving the section 21 notice.

Again, this will be reassuring to landlords, particularly in recent circumstances where arranging gas safety inspections has been a challenge.

The Court of Appeal’s decision, however, did not resolve all the issues that have arisen since gas safety was linked to the section 21 procedure in 2015.

There are still difficult questions left unresolved. For example, what does this mean for a landlord who has failed to carry out a gas safety check at all before the tenant goes into occupation?

Are they able to rectify this breach and serve a valid s21 notice? While the Court of Appeal determined that late provision of the initial gas safety certificate is remediable, they do not go so far as to say that all historic gas safety breaches, including failing to actually have a certificate before the commencement of the tenancy, are capable of remedy.

In addition, the gas safety regulations only require landlords to retain the gas safety certificate for two years from the date of the check which means even where a check has been carried out before the start of the tenancy, landlords may face difficulties remedying the breach later or proving that they have done so.


Author bio: Robin Stewart is a senior associate at legal firm Anthony Gold.

Source
What does the new Trecarrel House vs Rouncefield Supreme Court decision mean for landlords? is written by Robin Stewart for www.landlordzone.co.uk

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