A Plymouth landlord has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after failing to arrange annual gas appliance safety checks and providing their tenants with a dangerous gas oven.
Giles Boardman, of Wheatridge in Plympton, admitted one breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in a hearing at Plymouth Magistrates Court on August 29th. He was fined £4,050 with additional costs of £513.
The court heard that Plymouth City Council informed the HSE that a house in Dickiemoor Lane did not have a gas safety certificate. The local authority had asked Mr Boardman, who owned this house, to provide it with this certificate on several occasions, but it had failed to do so.
The HSE therefore provided Mr Boardman with an Improvement Notice, which obliged him to provide them with evidence of a landlords’ gas safety check. However, Mr Boardman had failed to meet this requirement by the expiry date of the notice.
Eventually, Mr Boardman called an engineer to inspect the gas oven, and found that the controls that operated the appliance’s gas flow were not operating as they should. He classed the appliance as ‘Immediately Dangerous’. This oven has since been replaced.
Commenting, HSE Inspector Simon Jones pointed out that landlords are legally obliged to perform gas safety checks in order to protect their tenants from injury and death. He remarked that Mr Boardman had “ignored repeated requests” to perform these vital safety checks, and therefore a serious problem with a gas oven remained unnoticed until an engineer examined it.
The regulations that Mr Boardman admitted breaching are:
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Regulation 36(2), which requires landlords to maintain gas fittings and the flues that serve these fittings in a safe manner, in order to prevent harm to lawful occupants of their properties;
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 Regulation 36(3), which calls for landlords to arrange annual gas safety checks for all gas appliances and related flues; and,
- Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 Section 33(g), which makes it an offence for people to contravene improvement and prohibition notices.
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