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RLA campaign to protect the rights of landlords to repossess their properties

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has launched a fresh campaign fighting for landlords’ repossession rights.

The landlord organisation has decided to take action following a recent court case in which a landlord’s attempt to regain their property was deemed invalid due to a dispute over a gas safety certificate.

The landlord, Trecarrell House Limited, granted an order to repossess the property using Section 21 powers, but the tenant successfully appealed on the grounds that they were not provided with a gas safety certificate prior to moving in.


The court that the Section 21 issued was invalid, despite the fact the landlord made the certificate available once the tenancy had started.

The judge in the appeal made reference to a previous similar case in which the certificate was made available less than two weeks after the tenant moved in.

The judge said that if the gas safety certificate was not served on the tenant before they took up occupation then a Section 21 notice could not be relied on to regain possession, and the situation could not be resolved by serving one after the moving in date.

The Court of Appeal will now consider Trecarrell House Limited’s case, with the landlord arguing that so long as the gas safety certificate is provided before the Section 21 notice is served, then it is valid.

The landlord believes 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.

Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights provides states: “Every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international law. The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes or other contributions or penalties.”

The RLA is supporting the landlord at the Court of Appeal.

David Smith, policy director for the RLA, commented: “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.

“We will fight to ensure that if nothing else, logic prevails.”

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  • James B

    Makes a pleasant change instead of the RLA supporting tenants rights !

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    • 19 March 2019 09:43 AM

    A LL should be able to repossess their property without all these ridiculous requirements.
    Perhaps there should be a sliding scale of fines for those LL that never provided all that they should.
    So perhaps a £200 fine for failing to supply the How to Rent booklet etc.
    But none of these requirements should prevent a LL repossessing their property.

    James B

    They are all just traps to block possession claims, government need to keep tenants in PRS as they can’t house them so what better way to trick landlords with silly legislation! Next coming is no s21 notices
    Incredible that they are bashing landlords out the sector on the other hand

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Why are we in a 'Nanny state' - where its the Landlord that has to tell a Tenant what THEY, the Tenant, should know about renting !
    Its like a second-hand car showroom having to give a Car condition assessment booklet to customers before they can buy a car off them - otherwise, the customer can claim their money back and keep the car.
    ( Its only as stupid as the whole H2R booklet idea, in terms of being Landlords responsibility.)

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    This is ridiculous. Much of employment law hinges on ludicrous technicalities and now it's spreading into property law.

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    I have a check list stating the requirements and get the tenants to sign they have received each one, so they can’t say later they have not received a item or the alarms weren’t tested if a S.21 is issued

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    I have been told by 2 different plumbers that a Gas Safety Certificate can be quite legally completed up to 14 days after the expiry of the preceding one.

    Anyone have some thoughts on this - any plumbers can you confirm? If so maybe the court was wrong in siding with the tenant.

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    I have added paragraph at end of lease I now use making tenants sign to say they received has cert, How to tent booklet, property has working smoke detectors on each floor and CM detector is in place, deposit is paid to deposit scheme and now adding electrical cert too. I also take passport number for illegal immigrant check. I am sure the list grows in the hope some LL may slip up and forget one. I let 6 houses and it is like a military operation keeping everything compliant and the insurance current too. I am early retired so have time now but when also working full time it was hard.


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