A landlord from Great Harwood, Blackburn, with a property in King’s Lynn failed to maintain gas appliances and persistently failed to provide tenants in the property with a landlord’s gas safety certificate.
At Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 23, the court heard how inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register inspected the property in 2017 where they found a gas oven to be at risk and the gas central heating boiler to be unsafe and deemed to be dangerous.
Officers from the housing standards team of West Norfolk council initially inspected the property following a complaint from a tenant of a faulty gas boiler and gas oven that was not working or concerns they were dangerous.
Upon inspection of the gas hob and the gas boiler both were found to be in a poor state of repair and considered unsafe. The landlord did not carryout any gas safe checks and had documentation available to demonstrate to show routine safety checks and servicing were being carried out periodically.
Gas safety is paramount as 0.01% carbon monoxide escaping into a room is sufficient to make someone ill or kill them.
The HSE investigation found the Landlord had failed to have the gas appliances regularly inspected or maintained and failed to provide a landlord’s gas safety certificate for a number of years.
The aggregating factor in all this is the landlord failed to comply with an improvement notice issued on July 13, 2017 by the council officers. The notice served on the landlord required that he take action to deal with breaches by instructing a gas safe engineer to carry out a gas safety inspection and to ensure any work required to make the hob and boiler safe.
At Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 23 the landlord pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work and to pay full costs of £4,146.34.
Mr Paul Unwin a HSE inspector said after the court hearing: “HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”
Councillor Adrian Lawrence said: “The various regulations concerning the private rented sector are there to ensure tenants’ safety in their homes.
“This case very clearly demonstrates the seriousness of the breaches and is a reminder to private sector landlords of their obligation to ensure gas appliances they provide are checked and inspected on an annual basis.
“A copy of the landlord’s gas safety certificate should be handed to the tenant and copies kept for a minimum of two years.”
Although it is a requirement to have a gas safe check done each year, landlords ought to also ensure that the appliances are serviced regularly too.