The National Landlords Association (NLA) is disappointed in the Government’s decision to not address a major ruling that is of crucial importance to all landlords of assured shorthold tenants.
A recent county court decision in the Caridon Property Ltd
v. Monty Shooltz case ruled that a landlord who had failed to issue a Gas
Safety Certificate to an assured shorthold tenant prior to moving in could
never rely on a Section
21 notice as a means of ending the tenancy and recovering possession of
According to the ruling, which applies a strict
interpretation to the wording of the original Gas Safety Regulations, issuing a
Gas Safety Certificate after the tenancy has begun would not be sufficient for
the landlord to meet the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015, which only
applies in England.
But, despite lobbying the Government for change, the NLA
says that it has now been told by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and
Local Government (MHCLG) that it does not intend to address the Monty Shooltz
ruling to help the thousands of landlords who may have inadvertently granted
assured tenancies, instead of the Assured
Shorthold Tenancies that they meant to.
Instead, the MHCLG says that it will update the guidance
available to landlords on the gov.uk website, to ensure that they are certain
of their legal responsibilities.
The CEO of the NLA, Richard Lambert, says: “Having pressed the Government to respond to
this judgement for nearly a year, their answer seems to be, ‘we’re not that
Ministry clearly doesn’t understand the impact it is having. The NLA Advice
Line is taking more and more calls from landlords who thought they had complied
with the law, and now find themselves facing a disproportionate penalty for an
administrative error. We cannot believe this is what Parliament actually
continues: “The NLA recognises the vital importance of ensuring landlords
arrange an annual gas safety check with a Gas Safe engineer. But we do not
support the de facto introduction of assured tenancies because landlords cannot
rectify an unwitting error made before a tenancy begins.
no intention of letting this rest and will continue to lobby for change.”