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As you should keep in mind, all insured landlords must present a gas safety certificate to their tenants before the rental starts (unless the property has no gas). According to the new rules introduced by the Deregulation Act of 2015 (which only applies in England), section 21 cannot be validly notified if this is not done. This currently applies to all companies that started or were renewed on October 1, 2015.

The new rules as a whole will apply to all ASTs after October 1, 2018, but as the regulations currently stand, this does not specifically include the rules on EPC Certificate London and gas safety certificates for companies before October 1, 2015, where there has been no new lease or renewal contract since. granted.

But there is a big problem for companies after October 1, 2015.

The formulation of the rules.

In the past, general opinion, encouraged by the government guidelines, encouraged the gas safety certificate to be issued too late and this would correct the situation so that a valid notification of paragraph 21 could be presented. On closer inspection, this is not what the wording of the Regulation really says.

Under gas regulation 36 (6)):

“… each owner will ensure that:

(a) a copy of the record made in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (3) (c) above is provided to any existing tenant of the buildings to which the record refers within 28 days from the date of the check; and

(b) a copy of the last record made in respect of each appliance or fireplace is delivered to each new tenant of the buildings mentioned in the record before that tenant occupies those buildings

The rules of the Deregulation Law said that the requirement to serve within 28 days if in (a) should not apply, but did not refer to (b) that speaks of serving before the tenant occupies the property.

A recent case

In a recent case, in the Central County Court of London, an injunction was rejected due to the fact that the notification in section 21 was invalid for not providing a gas safety certificate to tenants before they moved.

Although a certificate was issued about 11 months after and before the notification of S21, the court did not accept that this was sufficient to comply with the rules.

An appeal was lodged against the case and the appeal court confirmed the decision of the county court judge.

A more complete case report can be found on the Nearly Legal website, with quotes from the judgment and an interesting discussion in the comments.

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It is feared that this could be a situation similar to the case of London in 2013, with the result that the owners who thought they were complying with the lease payments law discovered that this was not the case.

After this, owners could always take measures (as provided for in the regulations) to repay the down payment, which would allow them to submit a valid Section 21 notification. There is no such “exit” clause for these rules. Therefore, this problem can be fatal to the service of a valid s21 warning.

How does this affect you

In the future you must always ensure that you have delivered the gas safety certificate to your tenants BEFORE the keys are handed over. (To a large extent, make sure you also serve the EPC Certificate London, as this is another condition for the new section 21).

You must provide these documents in a manner that can be proven later, ideally by letting tenants initialize and date a copy of the documents, and ensuring that the date of receipt is before the start of the lease. Or you can try the service through an electronic signature process. Be sure to save all details, regardless of the method you use, so that you can try the service later if necessary.

Members of the property law can find advice on document service here.

If your property is one that has no gas or where an EPC is not required, keep this in mind.

If your lease agreement falls before October 1, 2015, these rules do not apply to you. The regulations state that they only apply to companies after October 2015.

If your property is in London, these changes to the Deregulation Law do not apply to you, although England owners still need to obtain gas safety certificates, they simply do not affect the validity of the notices in section 21 as they do in England.

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