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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have the situation where a tenant is being evicted. I have

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I have the situation where a tenant is being evicted. I have had trouble with the heating system and difficulty in getting the original installation company to investigate. This has now been resolved. The tenant has somehow picked up on the fact that when she took the property on, there was a gas safety cert in place but this company in all the messing around, didn't redo it for me as I had asked them to do (verbally). I have since had one done and the certificate was issued without any work being needed. Childrens Services are concerned about how her children are not being cared for as well as the fact that she has allowed a Section 8 to be served for non payment when she has had the LHA to pay it. They are also concerned about the state of disrepair she has let the property come into which she has failed to bring to our attention. We have only recently heard through Children's Services and the Gas Engineer who did the Certificate in May. She has been asking for the certificate before the current one. The housing officer has a copy of the current one as she kept denying receipt. She has since instructed a solicitor who apparently is helping her with "her housing situation in general including the possession proceedings". This solicitor is insisting on a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate for last year (not the current one which I have sent to the solicitor) and asking for details of when we the property has been visited and what disrepair are we referring to.
Do I need to provide the certificate for the solicitor (which I don't have) or can I just ignore the request? My only concern is the eviction and the Gas Safety Certificate is not a valid defence against a S21 eviction.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
I assume you have a current certificate is that right?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes as soon as I realised that the installation company had not done the Gas Safety Certificate as requested albeit by telephone, I arranged for it to be done immediately. This was in May 2015.

I now understand from research that I am required to keep certificates for 2 years, however I can prove that the system was safe before and after the 'missing' period and I can prove that the certificates before and after were given to the tenant upon moving in and within 28 days for this year's certificate.

Indeed. I can say it is not a defence to possession the fact you had a missing safety certificate. As you said you have one now and the one before shows it was safe. Its not as if there was a fault and it put the tenant at risk.
I would ignore the Solicitor but its not a defence that you have a missing certificate. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I am trying to understand what the solicitor might be hoping to achieve.

I believe they 'can' report me to the Local Authority and/or the HSE. Can they gain anything from pursuing this missing Gas Safety Ceritificate? Compensation claim? Or just revenge for the eviction?

The other thought I had was whether this is part of a defence against Children's Services if they are looking to remove her children? Trying to deflect some of the claims of negligence on her part?

Yes they can report you and they cant really personally gain anything, apart from make your life a bit difficult.
I dont know about the children aspect, it seems to be mute point.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One final piece of advice please. Below is the email trail so far, to which I wish to respond as follows. Please could you let me know if this is a good idea or any additions / omissions you would suggest?

Response: I regret to say this but your clients housing situation in general is not a concern of mine and therefore will not be putting any of my time and effort into responding to matters that are not part of the S21 process for eviction.

With regards ***** ***** disrepair, I propose that the same Inventory Clerk who performed the Inventory make and Check In report attends the property to perform a Statement of Condition report. This way your client will have an independent 3rd party record and an independent opinion. The Clerk is a County Councillor and so is of a good reputation. His name is***** and his contact details are on the front page of your client's Inventory and Check In report which I spine bound together with the tenancy agreement and legal requirements such as Deposit Protection Certificate, Prescribed Information, Gas Safety Certificate etc. This will obviously be at your client's own expense.

I can confirm that the Deposit remains protected in accordance with current legislation, all legal requirements were strictly followed regarding Prescribed Information etc. and the Section 21 Notice was served correctly.

Neither of your requests are relevant to the S21 eviction process and would involve significant time on my behalf. Disrepair will be dealt with as per the final Check Out Report which will be conducted by Simon Bellord again and any deductions from the protected deposit will be in strict accordance with current guidelines and Scheme rules.

Email trail below

Me:To answer your letter dated 29th June 2015, I will respond as per your sections for simplicity.

Rent Arrears

Your client has been made fully aware of the outstanding amount by means of rent statements and this has also been provided to Housing Services, Children’s Services and her Guarantor. Attached for your reference is an up to date Rent Statement.

I would like to correct some misunderstandings you have.

  • Rent was agreed in advance not in arrears as per the contract your client signed.

  • Rent was always received in advance and always has been due in advance, this has never changed. By your client falling into arrears, this does not commute the contract to one of payment in arrears and certainly does not demonstrate our acceptance of such.

  • Direct payment of Local Housing Allowance for partial rent was a protective measure we were forced to take due to your client failing to keep up with rent, failing to communicate with us and furthermore failing to adhere to any payment proposals which she also failed to confirm in writing. Your client missed 3 entire rent instalments in a 4 month period without any communication at all. LHA interception by a landlord can only be applied for once rent falls 8 or more weeks behind. This left us with no option but to serve Section 8 and 21 Notices as any reasonable landlord would.

  • LHA is not a guaranteed payment and can be stopped without notice or reclaimed by the Local Authority after having been paid. It is your client’s responsibility to ensure rent is paid in full and on time

  • Your client has been persistently late in paying rent with the sole exception of the first 2 months that were paid upon taking possession.

  • We have been made aware that Housing Services are refusing to help re-house your client due to her misappropriation of State Benefits; we have had confirmation that LHA was paid for all periods of non-payment of rent.

  • It was only after informing the Guarantor that we were about to pursue them for the arrears through MCOL that the Guarantor provided the funds for your client to make a payment of £1,274.13

Gas Safety Certificate

  • Please find attached the Gas Safety Certificate which has been provided to your client twice as well as being provided to Housing Services to forward to your client. The latter was requested by Housing Services following your client’s persistent claims of not receiving it.

  • Your client has also been particularly obstructive when trying to arrange the Safety inspection and even failing to ensure there was gas at the property for over a week, when she knew the inspection was due. Your client may wish to claim that she doesn’t know about such things, however her husband is a plumber. Your client has been just as obstructive when trying to arrange our own attendance at the property to the point of having to argue points of law with her regarding access.

  • The gas engineer attended the property more than once to perform the necessary safety checks, only to find your client had left her young children home alone and unsupervised. This prevented him from being able to enter the property and carry out his duties.


  • Your clients claims of not having visited the property during the tenancy are complete fabrication.

  • I personally have attended the property several times both accompanied and unaccompanied, each time your client was present.

  • Children’s Serves have attended the property and reported to us that your client was allowing the property to come into disrepair to the point where they are concerned for the children’s safety.

  • The Gas Engineer reported the same as well as some serious contractual and Health Safety breaches. For example, plastic bags tied over the integrated smoke alarms.

  • Your client is treating the gardens as dumping grounds, picture attached. This is a contractual breach.

  • Engineers have failed to gain access due to your client

  • Your client has informed workmen that problems don’t exist when they attend.

  • We have been informed by professionals that your client is continuing to use appliances that are causing further damage to the property, when maintenance is required and she has failed to inform us.

Process Proceedings

Section 21 eviction proceedings have been chosen.

Furthermore, you may be interested to learn that Children’s Services have an active interest in your client’s children and were highly concerned for their welfare and care. Especially when they learned of them being left alone at home and unsupervised as well as the disrepair and cleanliness that your client is allowing the property to come under.

Children’s Services were very concerned when they approached us for an up to date rent statement and found that your client was risking the roof over her children’s heads.

Housing Services are also fully aware of the current arrears and share their concerns with Children’s Services and we have made them both aware that this is an unsalvageable tenancy from our perspective and that eviction is necessary as your client has ignored the formal notices she was served.

Communication has become impossible to the point where your client even refuses to sign for Recorded Delivery letters.

I hope this clarifies our position and you can advise your client accordingly.

Solicitor: Before I arrange a second appointment with my client to discuss the points raised in your email I should be grateful if you would send to me the following documents and information:-

  1. The Gas Safety Certificate from when our client moved in until May 2015. I already have a copy of the Certificate that was attached to your recent email.

Details of when you visited the property and what disrepair you are referring to.

Me: Before I put any further time and effort into this, might I ask the purpose of your involvement and enquiries as nothing you mention is relevant to S21 eviction?

Solicitor: I am assisting and advising Ms Ray on her housing situation in general including the possession proceedings.

I await the information requested

End of email trail

Yes that seems fine.
I would sent it titled 'Without Prejudice'.
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