Law News

Landlords urged to fight for property repossession rights

Em Morley - August 21, 2019

Landlords are being urged to back a legal case to protect their rights to repossess properties. 

This follows a recent court case in which a landlord’s attempt to regain their property was deemed invalid due to a dispute over a gas safety certificate.

The landlord was initially granted an order to repossess their property using a Section 21 notice. However, the tenant then successfully appealed on the grounds that they had not been provided with a gas safety certificate before they moved in.

Despite the landlord making the certificate available once the tenancy had begun, it was ruled by the Court that their Section 21 powers were invalid. It referred to a previous similar case in which the certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.

The judge in the appeal stated that if the gas safety certificate was not provided to the tenant before they took up occupation then a Section 21 notice could not be relied on to regain possession. The situation could not be resolved by serving one after the moving in date.

The Residential Landlord Association (RLA) is supporting the landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, at the Court of Appeal, on the basis that so long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, then it is valid.

The RLA argues that the case could breach a landlord’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that it deprives them of their possession.

It is calling on its members to back the case by making a financial contribution to support the case through a Crowd Justice website that has been launched today.

David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said: “Protecting the rights of landlords to repossess properties in legitimate circumstances is key to providing the confidence the sector needs to offer longer tenancies.

“The landlord in this case was not seeking to shirk their responsibilities and provided the certificates that were needed.

“We will fight to ensure that if nothing else, logic prevails. We urge those who agree to support the campaign by making a contribution to the costs.”