Failure to issue gas safe and epc

I rented my flat out through an agent whilst I have been living abroad, foolishly I didn’t bother to monitor what was going on until I returned to the Uk… It turns out that after the first year’s tenancy ended it wasn’t renewed so now it is on a rolling contract. I have also found out that the tenants weren’t given a gas safe certificate or an EPC when they moved in. I want to sell the flat sometime next year so I have just arranged for the EPC and gas inspections which I will send to them. I’m hoping that my tenants will move out in the next six months but if they don’t want to can I give them notice. I know I’m fundmentally to blame for the mess and I want to do things properly. Any advise will be much appreciated.

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Was this a full management agreement where the agent finds the tenant and sets up the tenancy agreement…

Hi, I thought it was, the agent didn’t a have a physical address we just communicated by email, I just kept the rent the same and foolishly just occasionally checked to see that the rent was being paid into my account and nothing else.When I returned to the uk I tried emailing the agent but it just gets returned as not recognised. The tenants have been fine, they have paid the rent on time and all the bills.

With no GSC at the beginning of the tenancy makes it unlikely you will be able to serve a S21 when you want the property back. You could speak to the tenants and tell them you are thinking of selling and you will eventually need them to leave. They may appreciate the long notice period and make plans to find somewhere else. Then issue them with a new tenancy agreement with a 6 month fixed term and make sure this time all the relevant documents are given so that if you need to serve a S21 in the future you can.

As above, a gsc and epc can be served late, but if there wasnt one in place before the tenant moved in, you cant use s21 to evict. You should check that everything else is in place - eicr, how to rent, deposit PI etc. Google “nearly legal s21 flowchart”.

Incidentally, its usually in the landlords interest to allow a tenancy to go periodic asap so that was not a mistake in my view.

Chris hi, thanks for responding. my tenants are happy where they are and don’t want to move anytime in the foreseeable future. Is it their choice to stay on a rolling contract or can I now ask them to sign a new six month assured short term tenancy and give them all the required certificates etc this time and then give them 2 months notice after 4 months of the tenancy. I want to do it right but I don’t want to be heavy handed with them.

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As David122 has said if you needed to serve a S21 in future you won’t be able to. For that reason I would ask tenants to sign a new tenancy. They are not obliged to although it sounds like you have a good relationship with them so they are likely to oblige. Just explain, in your absence the agent didn’t do what was required and going forward you are managing the property and want to insure everything is right.

Thanks, I’ll try talking to them but it’s in their interest not to sign a new tenancy as they can stay as long as they want now even if I send them all the certificates.

In case I can persuade them to sign a new tenancy does anyone know where I can buy a basic, simple but legal tenancy agreement form either online or in a shop.

WH Smith. Baisic, short and legal. Checked by solicitors. We used it before we joined NRLA.

If you dont eant to join one of the landlord associations the the Government produce a free AST template, but it is long.

I can send you one- also there was a case a couple of years ago where the Judge ruled in favour of section 21 when a co12 hadn’t been issued at the start of the tenancy

Yes, as I said, the CP12 gas cert can be served on the tenant at any time before the s21 without invalidating the notice. The problem is when there isnt a cert in place at all before the tenancy begins. Two senior judges have now ruled against the landlords in possession hearings in this circumstance.

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