Gas Safety And Eviction - A Sigh Of Relief For Landlords

Published date02 July 2020
Subject MatterReal Estate and Construction, Landlord & Tenant - Leases
Law FirmVeale Wasbrough Vizards
AuthorMs Georgina Little

The Court of Appeal has held that a landlord will not be prevented from evicting a tenant where a gas safety certificate has not been provided...

...before the tenant went into occupation, as long as this information is provided before service of the notice of eviction.

The decision was handed down on 18 June 2020 in the case of Trecarrell House Limited v Rouncefield.

The Law

The obligations on landlords relating to gas safety are contained in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. A landlord's obligation under the Regulations include:

  • carrying out an annual gas safety inspection;
  • providing a tenant with a copy of the relevant gas safety certificate within 28 days of an inspection being carried out;
  • giving the current certificate to a tenant before they occupy a property; and
  • displaying the gas safety certificate in a prominent place inside the property.

A landlord cannot give notice pursuant to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 to evict an assured shorthold tenant on a no-fault basis where the landlord is in breach of a prescribed requirement. The prescribed requirements include the gas safety obligations set out above.


Ms Rouncefield was a tenant of a property in Cornwall under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement. The tenancy was granted in February 2017. The landlord did not provide Ms Rouncefield with a copy of the gas safety certificate when she entered into occupation, nor was it displayed at the property. The landlord eventually provided a copy of this gas safety certificate in November 2017.

In May 2018, the landlord served a Section 21 notice to evict Ms Rouncefield from the property.

The landlord then issued possession proceedings. Ms Rouncefield relied on the fact that she was not provided with the certificate until November 2017 as a defence to the possession proceedings.

The Deputy District Judge found in favour of the landlord at first instance, and made a possession order. The tenant appealed this decision, and the Circuit Judge subsequently held that late compliance with the gas safety regulations prevented the landlord from serving a valid section 21 notice.

The landlord argued that the notice was valid as the certificate had been given before the notice was served. The...

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