Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield: Gas Safety Certificates and Section 21

The recent Jugdment in Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield has provided clarity on the requirements on landlords relating to Gas Safety Records and whether late compliance with those requirements can prevent the landlord relying on the section 21 possession procedure.

Whilst the Judgment by no means answers all questions, it confirms that:

  1. A valid Gas Safety Record does not need to be provided to the tenant before the tenant takes occupation of the property so long as a valid Gas Safety Record from the date of the tenancy’s commencement is provided to the tenant prior to serving a section 21 notice.
  2. A failure to undertake gas safety checks every 12 months will not be detrimental to a claim under section 21.
  3. Any Gas Safety Records that are obtained by the landlord during the course of the tenancy need only be provided to the tenant prior to a section 21 notice being served.

The above relates only to a landlord’s ability to take possession under section 21 and it is important to note that criminal sanctions will still apply:

  1. Where a tenant is not provided a Gas Safety Record before they take occupation of the property;
  2. If an annual gas safety check is not undertaken every 12 months; or
  3. All further gas safety records obtained during the course of the tenancy are not given to the tenant within 28 days of them being obtained.

Ms Rouncefield, the tenant in this case, has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court so the above may be subject to change. In the meantime, if you are a landlord who is uncertain as to whether you are able to take possession in light of the above, please contact Akanshi Agrawal or Connor Raine in our Litigation department on 01702 352511 who will be happy to assist you.

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