The government has been accused of not helping thousands of landlords who may have inadvertently granted assured tenancies instead of the assured shorthold tenancies they meant to.
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government has confirmed to the National Landlords Association that it does not intend to legislate to address the ruling made in a court case, Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz.
The judge in this case ruled that the requirements of the Deregulation Act 2015 mean failure to issue a gas safety certificate before a tenancy begins invalidates any subsequent Section 21 notice for repossession.
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 Act, which applies in England only.
Instead, MHCLG says it will update the guidance available to landlords on the government’s own website, to ensure landlords are certain of their legal responsibilities.
NLA chief executive officer Richard Lambert says: “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.”