Jakes Property Services

Landlord put on notice to ensure gas appliances are maintained

Date: 30 March 2009

A landlord with 193 properties across the UK has been put on notice not to repeat the failings that led the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to prosecute him for not complying with an Improvement Notice served on him to provide one of his tenants with a gas safety certificate.

On 26 March, the landlord, from March in Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty at Northampton Crown Court to contravening Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 for failing to comply with an Improvement Notice served by HSE. He was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £14 000.

The Improvement Notice was served following repeated attempts by HSE to get the landlord to provide his tenant with a gas safety certificate for the gas boiler in the property he rented in Corby, Northamptonshire.

All landlords have a duty under the Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998 to annually check the safety of the gas appliances in properties they rent out to others and provide a certificate confirming this to be the case.

At the hearing, His Honour Judge Corrie stressed that the authorities are right to be vigilant concerning such infringements - not only in terms of the individual, but also to maintain public confidence.

He said: "For landlords large and small, there is a need to protect the public, particularly those who rent properties, to guard against gas explosions, which are potentially fatal. Not only this, but also asphyxiation."

In passing a two year conditional sentence on the landlord he stated that "the spotlight was upon him" in ensuring that he did not again infringe these requirements."

After the hearing Neil Craig, Principal Inspector with HSE said: "Every year about 20-30 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with domestic gas appliances, due mainly to these appliances not having been properly installed or maintained.

"We need landlords to ensure their gas appliances are maintained to a safe standard and checked annually, with copies of the gas safety certificate being provided to their tenants.

"Should [the landlord] come to our attention again in respect of such matters, we will investigate to establish whether or not he is complying with his duties and if found in breach, return him to the courts"

back »