Following a recent court case where a landlord was denied an eviction order because he didn’t give the tenant a Gas Safe Certificate before the tenancy began, the RLA launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for an appeal. In the week since the crowdfunding campaign was launched, it has already attracted more than £4,400 in donations, which is incredible. The target amount is £10k, and with 22 days to go before the crowdfunding page closes, it is possible the RLA will get there.
If you want to pledge an amount towards the case, you can do that here.
This illustrates just how emotive the case is in the buy to let sector. If this case is allowed to set a precedent going forward, it will make it harder for landlords to gain possession of their properties. The RLA’s argument in this particular case is that the judge’s interpretation of the law means a landlord is being deprived “of their possessions without good reason”. The government has already told the RLA that the result of the case was not a consequence they anticipated when the regulations were put in place, yet it has happened.
The Facts of the Case
The landlord did not give the tenant a Gas Safety Certificate before the tenancy began, but one was handed over before a Section 21 notice was served. There were no gas appliances in the property, so the failure to give the tenant a Gas Safety Certificate was little more than a clerical error, yet it had far-reaching consequences.
Landlords need to know they can repossess their properties if they decide to sell up or want to move back in. What they don’t want is a wily tenant using a legal loophole to thwart their plans. All landlords understand that providing a Gas Safety Certificate is important when the property has gas appliances. But to have their application for an eviction notice turned down because the Gas Safety Certificate was not received before the tenancy started could cause some landlords to reconsider their investment in buy to let.
Section 21 Notices
Landlords can use Section 21 notices to gain possession of their properties, but this might not be the case for much longer, as the government wants to ban no-fault evictions. Tenant pressure groups like Shelter say banning no-fault evictions will provide greater security for tenants, but the harder it is for landlords to take their properties back, the less attractive buy to let becomes. And if more landlords desert the sector, rents will rise, and more rogue landlords will step into the breach. That won’t help anyone, least of all vulnerable tenants who rely on private landlords to put a roof over their head.
Have you donated to the RLA crowdfunding campaign? Let us know your thoughts on the case and whether you are worried about the whole Section 21 debate. We are always happy to hear from our readers! You can reach us by leaving a comment below or contact us via social media.
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