Last month we told you about changes to the Gas Safety regulations and how the new MOT-style checks could make life for a landlord just that little bit easier. 
 
Staying on the subject of Gas Safety, we wanted to bring another aspect of certification to the attention of every landlord out there, ensuring that everyone is aware of the potential implications of not issuing gas safety records to tenants prior to the commencement of tenancy. 
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The Deregulation Act 2015 requires that a valid gas safety record (in addition to a valid EPC certificate) be supplied to tenants prior to the commencement of a tenancy. Up until now this has been applicable to tenancies commenced on or after 1st October 2015 but from 1st October 2018 it is intended to apply to every tenancy to which a Section 21 noticed is served, regardless of start date. 
 
Until very recently it has been generally accepted that a Section 21 notice can be served even if the gas safety record was provided to the tenant after they moved in (provided that it is received before the Section 21 notice is served) however there have been two significant court cases recently where applications for possession have been refused because it was discovered that the gas safety record was not provided prior to the tenant occupying the property. 
 
No landlord serves a Section 21 Notice lightly and in many cases it is very much a last resort. To have the request for possession denied simply as a result of late issue of gas safety records would be devastating, especially since in some cases the checks have actually been made and certification is valid when the tenancy begins. 
 
Ideally, to make sure that there is no discrepancy should the let go wrong, Strawberry suggest that landlords provide a document of receipt which should be signed by both parties when the gas safety record (and EPC documentation) are provided. That way at least one potential frustration can be avoided when serving of a Section 21 notice is undertaken. 
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