New Year, New Decade, Old Landlord and Tenant Issues
There can be a number of risks for landlords when renting out a residential property such as tenants breaching the terms of an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, rent arrears and alleged claims by a tenant that the landlord failed to provide key documents before the tenant moved into the property.
In such situations specific legal advice is required in order to evict the tenant and seek possession of the property as quickly as possible to minimise the landlord’s loss. Pearson Solicitors was recently instructed on behalf of the landlord who wanted to gain possession of a residential property in Greater Manchester.
Tenant to vacate a Property
Pearson Solicitors served a notice in accordance with Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 on the tenant to vacate a property. The tenant failed to vacate the property. Court action was commenced against the tenant and the landlord successfully obtained an order for possession of the property.
The tenant sought legal advice from Citizens Advice Bureau and sought to challenge the order for possession of the property. An application was made to set aside the possession order on the basis that the landlord failed to provide a copy of the gas safety certificate prior to the tenant moving into property in 2016, which is contrary to Regulation 36(6)(b) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The tenant’s solicitors sought to rely on a prominent case called Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz (in the Central London County Court on 2nd February 2018). Therefore, the landlord is debarred from using the Section 21 Notice and therefore it was invalid.
The landlord challenged the allegations made by the tenant. The landlord stated that he was an experienced landlord and provided the tenant with a copy of: a gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate and How to Rent Booklet before the tenant moved into the property in 2016. A hearing was listed on 2nd January 2020 at 10am on the County Court at Manchester.
What happened at the Court Hearing?
At the hearing, Pearson's Commercial Litigation Solicitors represented the landlord. Faced with the overwhelming evidence presented by the landlord, the tenant’s solicitors agreed to withdraw their application to suspend the possession order. Subsequently, the tenant agreed to provide vacant possession of the property. The client was pleased with the outcome and it was a great start to 2020.
“We strongly advise all landlords to record when they have provided the key documents (gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate and the how to rent guide) to a tenant before they move into the property. If a tenant can provide evidence that the above key documents have not been provided before they move into the property then a landlord is debarred from serving a Section 21 Notice. Therefore, the landlord has limited options in seeking possession of a property”, says Leigh Sunter, Commercial Litigation Solicitor for Pearson.
Pearson offer specialist landlord and tenant advice for residential properties and are more than happy to assist both landlords and tenants with any eviction process.Subscribe to our newsletter
Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.