The National Landlords Association (NLA) has expressed its disappointment at the government’s decision not to address a major ruling that is of crucial importance to all landlords of assured shorthold tenants.
A recent County Court decision in Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz ruled that a landlord who had failed to issue a gas safety certificate to an assured shorthold tenant prior to moving in could never rely on a Section 21 Notice as a means of ending the tenancy and recovering possession.
According to the ruling, which applies a strict interpretation to the wording of the original Gas Safety Regulations, issuing a gas safety certificate after the tenancy has begun would not be sufficient for the landlord to meet the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015, which applies in England only.
But despite the lobbying the government for change, the NLA says that it has now been told by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) that it does not intent to address the Monty Shooltz ruling to help the thousands of landlords who may have inadvertently granted assured tenancies instead of the assured shorthold tenancies they meant to.
Instead, the MHCLG says that it will update the guidance available to landlords on the Gov.uk website, to ensure landlords are certain of their legal responsibilities.
NLA chief executive officer Richard Lambert said: “Having pressed the government to respond to this judgement for nearly a year, their answer seems to be, ’We’re not that bothered’.
“The Ministry clearly doesn’t understand the impact it is having. The NLA Advice Line is taking more and more calls from landlords who thought they had complied with the law and now find themselves facing a disproportionate penalty for an administrative error. We cannot believe this is what Parliament actually intended.
“The NLA recognises the vital importance of ensuring landlords arrange an annual gas safety check with a Gas Safe engineer. But we do not support the de facto introduction of assured tenancies because landlords cannot rectify an unwitting error made before a tenancy begins.
“We have no intention of letting this rest and will continue to lobby for change.”