3PB reviews Trecarrell House decision on landlords’ eviction rights and gas safety certificates

Yesterday. Thursday 18th June 2020, the Court of Appeal handed down their judgment in the case of Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield [2020] EWCA Civ 760 to state that a failure to serve a gas safety certificate before a tenant enters in to occupation of the property does not create an absolute bar on residential landlords subsequently relying upon the section 21 eviction procedure.

3PB Barristers’ Matthew Cannings, who heads the Property & Estates team at the national chambers, said that : "This judgment confirms that gas safety certificates are similar to How to Rent booklets, energy performance certificates and the protection of tenancy deposits . Whilst a breach of the requirements will bar a landlord from relying upon the section 21 eviction procedure, any such breach has a route by which the failure can be rectified and, once this has occurred, a landlord can then invoke the section 21 no-fault eviction procedure.” His review of this important new decision for landlords’ rights can be found here.

One important footnote to this case is that this judgment has been handed down at a time when almost all landlord and tenant litigation is on hold due the Covid-19 pandemic.  Whilst possession claims can still be issued now - and landlords might need to issue claims due to prescribed time limits – these will be instantly stayed and landlords will have to wait until at least 23rd August 2020 before any progress will be made.

The full Court of Appeal judgment in Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield can be read here.

This article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  Landlord and tenant legislation is complicated and this article provides a summary only of the current legal position in respect of one specific issue and is believed to be correct at the date of publication. Landlords and tenants are however strongly advised to seek their own legal advice.

To discuss this with Matthew Cannings, please email him at matthew.cannings@3pb.co.uk or contact his clerk Mark Heath on 0330 332 2633 or by email mark.heath@3pb.co.uk.