Private sector landlords are being encouraged to support a legal case which would protect their rights when it comes to repossessing their properties.
The call from the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) comes after a case in which a landlord was denied the right to evict their tenant due to a dispute involving a gas safety certificate.
Initially, the landlord had been granted legal permission to issue a Section 21 notice to the tenant, who successfully appealed after it emerged that a gas safety certificate had not been provided to them prior to moving in.
It was later revealed that the landlord had produced the safety certificate shortly after the tenant had moved in, but this was adjudged to be insufficient and the Court ruled that the Section 21 notice was not valid as a result. In court, a similar case was highlighted in which a certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenancy had begun, which also cost that landlord the right to invoke Section 21 powers.
The judge in the appeal said that a Section 21 notice could not be used to repossess any property for which a gas safety certificate has not been provided to the tenant before moving in, and that issuing one retrospectively does not resolve the situation.
The RLA is supporting the landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, at the Court of Appeal, on the basis that a Section 21 notice should be valid so long as the gas safety certificate is provided beforehand.
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 possession. It is urging all landlords to support the case by making a financial contribution through a Crowd Justice website.
‘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,’ said David Smith, RLA policy director.
‘We will fight to ensure that if nothing else, logic prevails. We urge those who agree to support the campaign by making a contribution to the costs,’ he added.