There has been a very worrying new legal development relating to the service of the Section 21 (eviction) notice and the requirement to serve a valid gas safety certificate, valid EPC document and the current government “How To Rent” leaflet prior to occupation.
In the London case Assured Property Services Ltd v Ooo 2017, it was found that as the gas safety certificate was served to the tenant AFTER they had moved into the property, the eviction notice was invalid.
The implications of this may be huge: It is being suggested that any post 1st October 2015 Assured Shorthold Tenancy, as it stands, where these documents/ a current gas safety certificate has NOT been served on the tenant prior to the start of the tenancy, will NOT be able to use the Section 21 procedure to end the tenancy. In short – you will not be able to force your tenant to leave the property and you may very well be left with a sitting tenant. It is important that this error CANNOT be backdated or rectified by providing the documents at a later date.
It is yet to be seen in courts as to how a judge will look upon the late service of documents for tenancies that began prior to Oct 2015 (and the implementation of the Deregulation Act) when there was no legal obligation to serve/prove service of these documents.
We have many procedures and systems in place to ensure all our landlords comply with the various legalities and legislation surrounding the rental of property. Get in touch with us today if you need any help or advice – we would be more than happy to help!