Lives have been put at risk by repeated failings to ensure that the gas boilers in the homes, rented by a property firm in Richmond, were safe and free from dangerous defects.
Barclay Ltd, of south west London were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after a complaint from a registered gas engineer discovered that a gas boiler in a rental in Hampstead had not been properly maintained. It was found that Barclay Ltd had failed to have the boiler checked for safety between 2004 and 2013!
Boiler safety checks are a legal, annual requirement.
On December 1st, Westminster Magistrates heard that an improvement notice was served to Barclay Ltd by HSE requiring it to complete the statutory landlord safety checks, but the work was not done until two weeks after the notice had expired.
The investigation by HSE also identified another Barclay property in Hampstead where there had also been no safety inspection of the gas boiler carried out within 12 months.
Barclay Ltd of Kings Road, near Richmond Park, admitting two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a charge of non-compliance with an enforcement notice. They were fined a total of £6,500 and ordered to pay £1,822 in costs. Company director Mr Jonathan Silver appeared in court to enter the guilty pleas.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Anne Gloor said:
“We found that Barclay Limited owned more than 10 properties in Richmond, Hampstead and Willesden, which involved around 50 tenants. The firm failed to maintain and check the gas appliances in all these properties. As a result, it put the lives of the residents, their neighbours, and their own properties in danger and chose to ignore the warnings and enforcement action from HSE.
“Landlords have a statutory duty to carry out annual safety inspections on the gas appliances in their properties to ensure they remain safe to use. A tenant should be provided with a copy of the landlord’s gas safety record to show that this has been done.”
Russell Kramer, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, commented:
“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.”
See the HSE website for more information.
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