Gas Safety and Eviction

Hi, I used Open Rent to create my AST with my tenants. My tenants are currently 1 month in arrears and I’m researching the eviction process. They are not in a fixed period and so on a periodic tenancy. Question 1) If it went to court and I wasn’t able to provide evidence that I issued the tenants with the gas safety certificate BEFORE they moved in, will that case be dismissed? The property had a valid gas safety when they moved in, I just cant recall or find if I passed it on to the tenants. Does Open Rent pass this on when the tenancy is created and do they send them the How to Rent guide too?

Question 2) I had the annual gas safety certificate issued in March 2021, however last month works were done on the boiler and the engineer left an ‘at risk’ notice on the boiler as he was unable to inspect one of the flues that runs through a neighbouring property. I have made countless attempts to contact the neighbouring property but have been unsuccessful thus far. I have evidence of the attempts to contact them. I’m worried that either my section 8 or section 21 notice will be invalid if I do not have an up to date gas safety, or does it not matter if recent works have left the at risk notice and the gas safety from March is still valid?

Question 3) I have read the guides on this and various other websites that there are certain documents you need to issue along with your Section 21 or Section 8 notice. I understand to issue a section 21 you must have:

  • Given the tenant a copy of an EPC (with a rating of E or higher if tenancy started or was renewed after 1st April 2018)
  • Issued:

a valid gas safety certificate

the How to Rent booklet at the start of the tenancy

  • Protected any tenancy deposit within 30 days of receiving the money
  • Served the prescribed information about how you protected the deposit within 30 days of receiving the money
  • All local and national licensing: e.g. an HMO licence or a local Selective Licensing
  • You must also be the landlord/their agent

Do the exact same rules apply when issuing a section 8 notice?
Thank you kindly in advance.

I think you should seek legal advice and not deal with this yourself. Your solicitor will know what is required.

Q1. It may be it may not be. The last significant law case discussed said it did not but it was a sticking point in a case several years ago.
In future have a clause in your contract entitled documentation. List all the documents you need to serve and get the incoming tenant to sign it. Tessa S has a great pre tenant pack for members.
Was your gas certificate a pass this year? If so make sure you have served it.
If you have a pass certificate for this year it is a pass and valid for 12 months from that point in time and you should serve it to your tenant. Some engineers are more zealous than others and pick up something another person missed.
More importantly why is you flu running through an adjacent property? My advice to you is to deal with this issue, don’t ignore it. Your gas appliances and flus etc should be on your side only otherwise you are putting your neighbour at risk ( you could end up in deep water). Get a gas engineer to deal with your pipework and flues so they are all on your side so you don’t end up being responsible for a potential problem on the neighbours side. Not sure how that ever got signed off!
Q3. These documents are not required for a section 8 but get your gas certificate sorted out so that is not a sticking point for eviction

Tessa has a course in September for dealing with these issues. You may want to sign up. She also did a webinar on gas safety legislation. It might be worth you listening to it.

In answer to your questions:

  1. As long as you serve that original gas safety cert before serving the s21 notice you should be fine, following a court of appeal ruling last year. Keep evidence of service.

  2. if you renewed the gsc in March then thats all you should need. However, if there is a category 1 or 2 hazard in the property, the tenant might try to defend the s21 under revenge eviction legislation.

  3. All of the documents you mention can be served late, (but prior to s21 notice) without a problem. None of them apply to s8 evictions.

Thank you to all for your swift and thorough responses, you don’t know how reassuring it is to speak to experienced people, so I really appreciate you taking the time to read my post write a reply.
Yes I agree I take gas safety seriously, the property is a flat so one of the flues runs vertical through the flat above and out to the roof (twin flue boiler). I have had a gas safety done about 6 times, but like you said this particular engineer said the other flue should properly be inspected. The building was constructed 14 years ago and I understand that flue regulations have since changed. I have researched relocating the flue and having it run horizontally out to the wall but this is not possible due to the degree drop’s it needs as its the venting flue and would not meet current regs. I have contacted the management agent and I’ve been pressing them every few days for the last 3 weeks to make contact with the flat above as I was told I legally am allowed access and there should be inspection hatches, but the person occupying that property for some reason is like a ghost. Ive left letters and knocked so many times. Naturally I dont want to have to worry come next March either and I’m unable to get a gas safety certification so Im doing everything I can to rectify the situation.
How do I access Tessa’s course and pre tenant pack?
thanks so much

Find the owner on the land registry and write to him for access

Dear Carly
Seeing you are a landlord my father and myself are looking for a 2 bedroomed home preferably with garden
Would be much appreciated if yourself or if you know any other landlords or if you could give me some advice on how to contact any landlords
Thank you so much
Paula Mcmullen

Experience can be hard earned. It’s far better to join a landlords’ association like the NRLA or the Guild of Residential Landlords. They will give you good advice and keep you on the right side of the law.

Did you add the gas safe certificate into managed documents via your managed tenancies via open rent which they would have been able to access. Out of interest I add it there prior to the tenancy as it automatically emails the tenant to say the landlord has updated documents. I also add it to the inventory and take photos which are time lined and put a cop in the welcome pack. Perhaps you’ve popped it in a place like that

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Yes this is a very useful tool! I use it always