Invalid Gas Safety Record: Alexander McColl successfully defends s21 ‘no fault’ eviction

19 January 2024

A picture of Alexander McColl in front of a fade image of a street of terraced housing and a block of flats in the background

Alexander McColl has successfully defended a section 21 possession claim and secured an order for costs at Burnley County Court.

Through examination of the documents provided with the claim form, he argued that a gas safety record which had been provided to the tenant contained incorrect information which did not comply with The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and was therefore invalid. This meant that the landlord could not lawfully serve a section 21 notice.

Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (the most common form of tenancy). It allows landlords to evict their tenants without a reason. All that is required is evidence that a valid notice seeking possession (‘NSP’) has been served on the tenant giving them 2 months’ notice that they have to leave for a court to grant a possession order.

However, a section 21 notice is not valid if the landlord has failed to follow the correct process and procedures or has failed to give the tenant all the “prescribed information” such as a valid energy performance certificate and gas safety record. This means that defences to section 21 are usually technical and focused on compliance with the relevant regulations.

Alexander was instructed by Shelter in this case.

Alexander said: ‘Many people think that it is not possible to fight a section 21 notice because there does not need to be a reason, but there are still a number of avenues for challenge. If you are facing eviction, you should seek advice straight away.’

Alexander McColl is available for instructions across the full range of housing matters. View his profile here.

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