A landlord can't give their tenant a valid section 21 notice if the landlord has not previously provided the tenant with written information about the deposit and the scheme, the gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate (EPC) and the government's How to Rent guide. Where in the statutes are each of these respective stipulations to be found, and in what format must each of those documents be served in in order to be valid?

For example, user @Lag has opined that it seems that a gas safety certificate perhaps ought to be on its original paper. Any case law citations as well as statutory ones are very welcome!

The earlier incarnation of this question included and garnered some informative research links, which are collected below:

See the earlier incarnation of the question for some slightly more convoluted excerpts and commentary on these resources.

  • These are all good questions as to what would make sense and be reasonable. The ultimate question however is as to what the law stipulates, as arbitrary or senseless as it may be. Aug 6, 2022 at 18:32
  • Incidentally, is your purpose to bring greater clarity to issues or to cast doubt and uncertainty upon them? Aug 6, 2022 at 18:33
  • Sure the precedent may still be significant even if in the first place not binding, but if I'm not mistaken, that was s21 of a different act. Aug 6, 2022 at 21:04
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    My answer to your related question contains sources that may be relevant to an answer here. I don't know the answer - but note that the rules relating to the "How to rent" booklet specifies that it can be sent by e-mail, whereas the other rules are silent on this matter. Note that EPCs, EICRs and sometimes GSCs exist only in electronic format, so there is no "original" paper version for these. Aug 13, 2022 at 19:16
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    My comment was perhaps unclear. I meant that How to Rent had the clearest rules, whereas the rules for the other documents were less explicit. You appear to have reached the same conclusion independently. :-) Aug 14, 2022 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


How to rent

  1. The information may be provided to the tenant—

(a)in hard copy; or

(b)where the tenant has notified the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, of an e-mail address at which the tenant is content to accept service of notices and other documents given under or in connection with the tenancy, by e-mail.


(5) The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant.

While this doesn't specify digital or paper form, it is significant in that it indicates a requirement to supply a certificate rather than a copy of one.


(5) The record referred to in paragraph (3)(c) above, or a copy thereof, shall be made available upon request and upon reasonable notice for the inspection of any person in lawful occupation of relevant premises who may be affected by the use or operation of any appliance to which the record relates.

While the semantic structure of this regulation is much more convoluted, it seems once again that "copies" are permitted perhaps suggesting that there's no reason such cannot be digital ones.

  • EPCs are only available in electronic form - and indeed, can be downloaded for any property from the official website. So there cannot be any notion of a certificate or copy thereof. Aug 14, 2022 at 17:36
  • Or perhaps alternatively the can only be a notion of various types of copies... (That is Either digital or printed.) Aug 14, 2022 at 19:39

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