Landlord News

RLA Fights for Landlords’ Repossession Rights

Rose Jinks - March 20, 2019

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is campaigning to protect the rights of landlords to repossess their 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.

After the landlord was initially granted an order to repossess the property using Section 21 powers, the tenant successfully appealed against the ruling, on the grounds that they were not provided with a gas safety certificate prior to moving into the home.

Despite the landlord making this available once the tenancy had begun, the court ruled that their Section 21 powers were invalid, referring to a previous, similar case, in which the gas safety certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.

The judge in the appeal said that, if the gas safety certificate was not served on the tenant before they took up occupation, then a Section 21 notice could not be relied upon to regain possession and the situation could not be resolved by serving one after the move-in date.

The 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. It 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 possessions.

David Smith, the Policy Director of the RLA, says: “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.”

He adds: “We will fight to ensure that, if nothing else, logic prevails.”