Legal crowdfunding campaign to back Section 21 appeal nearly at target after just one day

A legal crowdfunding campaign to raise money for an appeal against a Section 21 ruling has almost reached target – after just one day and with 27 days still to go.

The case centres around a landlord who tried to regain possession of their property using Section 21.

The landlord won the initial hearing but the tenant successfully appealed on the basis that she was not served a gas safety certificate before moving in.

She had been served the required certificate, but this was after she moved in – and before the Section 21 notice was served.

The Judge at Exeter County Court ruled in February that where a landlord has failed to give the tenant a gas safety certificate before they occupy the property, this is a breach that cannot be remedied later.

The landlord in the case, Trecarrell House, is bringing a case at the Court of Appeal, arguing that as long as the gas safety certificate is served before the Section 21 notice, then the repossession procedure is valid.

The Residential Landlords Association is backing the appeal on the basis that the original interpretation could breach a landlord’s human rights, because it deprives them of their possessions without good reason.

It says that the property was safe, the certificate was obtained and that landlords should not lose their right to possession for a minor clerical error.

The RLA says that landlords “must have the right to regain possession of their property in legitimate circumstances”.

The RLA launched a crowdfunding campaign at 10am on Wednesday, aimed at raising £3,000 by September 20.

By this morning it had raised £2,770 from 104 pledges.

The case which is to be appealed follows the crucial ruling in Caridion Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/protectingsection21rights/

https://propertyindustryeye.com/legal-challenge-on-when-to-provide-gas-safety-certificates-to-be-heard-in-court-of-appeal/

Advice line inundated as Government declines to clarify court ruling on repossession

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4 Comments

  1. TheLettingsGuy

    Well done RLA. It was a daft ruling based on the wording of the law which needs to be swiftly amended. The fact landlords may not be able to regain possession of a property because they can not prove the tenants were given a gas safety certificate before they moved into a property 5 years ago is unbelievable. If the gas safety was still served (albeit late) then landlords should still be able to regain possession of their property. Would have been since to see ARLA supporting this….

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  2. Eric Walker

    This is really interesting. It’s a ridiculous requirement which wastes court time. When you buy a car, you need an MOT before you drive it. As long as the MOT is valid no one cares when you were given the certificate. Surely the law is designed solely to ensure tenants are safe. I often used to have the gas engineer attend the property at move in and show the tenants how to use the boiler, timer etc and hand them the GSC. After the Caridion case, this ‘service’ would have invalidated any subsequent S21. Madness. Well done RLA.

    Further, the effect of the caridion case is in effect retrospective and no one knows how many well intentioned LLs & agents let properties with valid GSCs in good faith yet have a potential issue.

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  3. propertyguru11

    Interesting – well done

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  4. Woodentop

    Sense says that not having a gas safe certificate would incur on conviction a financial penalty … it does.

     

    So why should it then be used to blackmail and prevent eviction? Effectively a double penalty that is prohibited in cases of criminal law.

     

    No doubt someone can call out other industries that have this type of scenario but I can only think of PRS being bullied this way. There is still the argument that another document served within 28 days of tenancy starting is accepted practice.

     

    Hopefully common-sense will prevail but money on eventually ending up in the Supreme Court if allowed.

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