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SASH_Law
SASH_Law, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 274
Experience:  LLB (Hons)
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I am considering serving a tenant a section 8 notice for

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Hi, I am considering serving a tenant a section 8 notice for breach of tenancy agreement to regain possession of my home. However, the tenant (who is a lawyer) has refused to allow a British Gas engineer access to the property to carry out a Gas Safety certificate. I believe this would cause me difficulty in regaining possession. What would you recommend the best course of action to have the tenant vacated within two months? Thank you.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: Apart from trying to arrange a Gas Safety certificate and keeping my rental agents informed, nothing. I was planning on serving the section 8 notice today so that I could get the property back by 13th September. After September the potential rental market would dry up a d leave the property empty for over six months.
Assistant: Where is the home located?
Customer: Northwood, Middlesex
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so at this stage

Hi, I'm Lea and I am reviewing your query.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Lea, thank you.

Which ground are you intending to use under s8?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I believe the letting agents said breach of tenancy. However, we could take any approach that would mean the property is back in our hands.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I cant call at the moment.

The pop up is automated, so you can ignore it and continue here.

Please bear with me, I am going to type up a response for you.

Refusal to let you in to do the gas safety check is a breachof the tenancy agreement, so your agents are correct in that.

However, you should make at least three documented attemptsto gain access, e.g.

  1. Send a standard letter making an appointment
  2. If they refuse the appointment, a second letterexplaining that the gas inspection is a legal requirement as is for theirbenefit as faulty gas appliances can be very dangerous – ask them to contactyou to make an appointment, if they fail to contact you
  3. Send a third letter asking them to contact youurgently

If you do this you will have done everything you can to gain access and will show that there is a clear breach of the tenancy agreement. I am going to presume the tenancy agreement includes a clause for inspections.

Not having a gas safety certificate will not cause you difficulties if you are issuing your s8 on the grounds of the tenant's breach of tenancy for failing to provide access. That would be a perverse element of the law, creating an impossibility of rectification. It would cause you issues if you tried to rely on a s21.

That said, you may be being a little ambitious with the hopes that you can get the tenant out by 13th September. Whilst you can serve notice, the tenant doesn't actually have to leave until you get a court order. Given you already seem to have a difficult tenant, I'd suggest he'll make getting him out as difficult as he can too.

Please accept and rate the response, you will be able to askfollow on questions after you have rated.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you for the response. I know the tenant wants to stay till November, so legally he can stretch it out till then with no real consequences or action that can be taken against them.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I will now rate the service. Thanks again

Unfortunately he can because you will have to take court action to get him out if he refuses to go at the end of the notice period.

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