The country’s leading landlord organisation, the Residential Landlord Association, is campaigning to protect the rights of landlords to repossess properties in legitimate circumstances. The RLA is urging landlords for their support in this case by making a financial contribution through a Crowd Justice website that was launched on 21 August.
This follows another court case where a landlord’s Section 21 powers were deemed invalid since the tenants were not provided with a gas safety certificate prior to moving in. The landlord had initially been granted an order to repossess the property using a Section 21 notice, which refers to the notice that a landlord must provide to their tenant in order to start the process of repossessing a property that they have let on an assured shorthold tenancy. A Section 21 notice indicates that a reason for wanting to repossess the property does not have to be provided.
In the court case mentioned, the dispute was that the gas safety certificate was not made available to the tenant until after the tenancy had begun. For this reason, the Court ruled that the Section 21 notice was invalid. A similar case was referred to during the ruling, where the gas safety certificate had been provided less than two weeks after the tenancy had begun. The Judge ruled that in order for the Section 21 powers to be valid, the gas safety certificate must be provided to the tenant prior to the tenant occupying the property for let. The situation can not be resolved by providing the certificate after the date of occupancy.
The Residential Landlord Association is campaigning on behalf of landlords that as long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, their Section 21 powers are valid. This is on the basis that the previous ruling breaches a landlord’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and thus are being deprived of their possessions. The RLA believes that with this change, the sector will be given the confidence needed to offer longer tenancies.
For more information on your rights as a landlord, consult experts at Hibberts by viewing our services here.