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Question

Gas Safety (England)

Gas safety record and s21

22 Dec 2017 | 4 comments

Tenants is persistently frustrating access and thus no gas safety ../ sent 2 7 day letters and contacted HSE and council … can a s21 be served without any problems given the above

Answer

4 Comments

  1. guildy

    The legislation is literal and so if read literally, no gas safety, no section 21.

    Furthermore, the court has recently held that if the gas safety wasn’t given “before occupation” as required by the legislation, a section 21 can never be served. It remains to be seen if that is correct but an appeal will be needed to see. We are worried that the way the legislation is worded, it could be right.

    However, it may be like the case where the cheque for the return of the deposit was not banked and despite this, the court nevertheless held that a section 21 could be served saying that tenants could not use this to prohibit the service of the notice. It may be that the court follows and refusing access is treated in a similar way.

  2. green123

    My reading of the law is that for rental agreements before 1/10/2015, it was not obligatory to have EPCs or gas safety records given to tenants. Therefore the above case only applies to rental agreements AFTER 1/10/2015. Am I right ?

    Also, I have inferred that written rental agreements are only obligatory for contracts with a term of 3 years. For shorter periods, the rental agreement can be verbal. If the contract is verbal, surely there is no requirement for the tenant to have a copy of the EPC and gas safety certificate before they move in, and to sign it and return to the landlord ?
    Thanks in advance for the correct answer.

    • guildy

      No, that’s not correct.

      A gas safety has been required to be given to tenants before occupation since approx 1999 (we forget the exact year the current regs took effect). An EPC has been required to give to prospective tenants and the ultimate tenant since 2008. It’s just that before October 2015, a failure to give didn’t affect serving a section 21 notice. However, this will change in October this year when all tenancies will have had to have a gas safety and EPC given before a section 21 can be served.

      A tenancy only legally needs to be in writing if it’s for greater than 3 years but that would never be advisable and a written agreement should be given in all circumstances. Whether the tenancy is in writing or not is irrelevant to gas safety and EPC. They must be given regardless.

  3. green123

    That is very useful information, thank you. So the fact that I did not give a gas safety certificate when the flat-sharer moved in before 1/10/2015 does not have a bearing if I issue him with a S.21 notice now ?
    Regarding a written rental agreement, I am totally in accord with you. The flat is in a different town in a different county and when he moved in, I am quite sure I would never have let him have £thousands of equipment at his disposal without a signed agreement and his name, date of birth and home address, so that I could contact him if anything went wrong. All I can think of is that I put the paperwork in a plastic folder which has since become lost.

    The trouble is, I do not have recourse to the law to request him for the same information again (or do I ?). I know where he works as an accountant nearby, and I have emailed the employer, who sent me an email confirmation that he is working there before he moved in. But this firm has cited the Data Protection Act to prevent me from having the requested information on full name, date of birth, and home address and contact details.

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