An Accrington landlord ignored numerous warnings to arrange annual landlord gas safety checks, a court has been told.
In a hearing at Trafford Magistrates’ Court on September 4th, Knotwood Court resident Tariq Ali admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, after being found to have failed to ensure gas appliances are checked annually and to have adhered to an improvement notice. He was fined £40,000, with additional prosecution costs of £18,054.
The court was told that Mr Ali had been repeatedly told to arrange gas safety checks for a property on Persia Street in the town. The gas safety record for the residence expired in October 2012, and although landlords are legally obliged to ensure that gas appliances are checked every year, this did not occur in the property.
Mr Ali had initially come to the Gas Safe Register’s attention in 2011, after appliances in a number of the properties he owned were found to be ‘immediately dangerous’ or ‘at risk’. He was given an improvement notice relating to the Persia Street property on September 12th 2013, and was required to arrange a gas safety check within one month from the date of this notice. After failing to meet the deadline, and failing to arrange gas appliance safety checks for almost two years, he was taken to court.
Following the hearing, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Stuart Kitchingman remarked that Mr Ali had put the lives of his tenants in danger “for financial gain”. He explained that the landlord had been given plenty of chances to arrange a gas appliance inspection, but had ignored these opportunities and had even ignored a formal improvement notice.
This left the Health and Safety Executive with “no alternative” to legal action, he added.
Mr Kitchingman noted that carbon monoxide poisoning kills and injures dozens of people every year, and that it is therefore “vital” for landlords to take these dangers seriously. Landlords who think they can flout the law will face prosecution, he warned.
Gas Safe Register Chief Executive Russell Kramer said it is “important” for tenants to know their rights in regards to rented property and for landlords to know their responsibilities.
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