Magistrates heard how a young family was left in potential danger for nearly four years after their landlord repeatedly failed to check the gas appliances in a property he rented to them. The landlord from Slough was fined £9,000 with costs totaling almost £4,000 after he failed to respond to The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local council notices.
Mohammed Nawaz, 25, was prosecuted for two offences of breaching gas safety regulations and a further offence of failing to comply with an enforcement notice after an HSE investigation.
HSE told Slough Magistrates’ Court on 21 August that its investigation revealed that the gas appliances had not been maintained and checked so the family could be provided with a Landlord’s gas safety record for the property. Mr Nawaz had a legal duty to ensure the gas appliances in any properties he rented were checked every 12 months by a competent gas engineer. However, between June 2010 and February 2014, no such checks were carried out and no record was ever provided to the tenants at any point in four years’ tenancy.
When a Gas Safe Register engineer visited the property, a boiler was classed as ‘at risk’ because of an inadequate seal around the flue and incorrectly-sized gas supply pipes to the boiler.
Despite warnings and an enforcement notice from HSE, plus an abatement notice from the local council requiring him to comply with the law, Mr Nawaz failed to respond, continuing to expose the family to potential health risks. Mohammed Nawaz, of Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, was fined a total of £9,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £3,941 after admitting two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations and a further charge of non-compliance with a HSE improvement notice.
After the case, HSE inspector Karen Morris said:
“Mohammed Nawaz failed to take seriously his duties and responsibilities as a landlord and the result was to put a family – including two children – at risk of significant harm. “There is no excuse for landlords failing to ensure that gas appliances in rented properties are properly maintained and subject to annual safety checks. These are simple and inexpensive measures, but they are vital for the safety of the people living in the premises.
“HSE takes gas safety issues very seriously and we will take enforcement action when necessary.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, commented:
“When it comes to rented property, it is important that landlords know their duties and tenants know their rights. A landlord must be able to provide a gas safety record for the property, showing that the gas appliances have been safety-checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer in the last 12 months. “Tenants can also sign up to a free reminder service at staygassafe.co.uk to make sure their landlord or managing agent is carrying out their duties of getting an annual gas safety check.”