Two brothers have been prosecuted for not obtaining a gas safety record for the property they rented out.
Philip Hale, 52, and Roger Hale, 50, both of Brierley Hill, Dudley, were ordered to pay costs and fines of more than £3,000, after they were investigated by the Health and Safety Executive ( HSE ). Council housing officers found no trace of a gas safety record for their property on Himley Street.
The landlords admitted they had not had such a record for eight years, after HSE wrote to them requesting to see a copy of it.
In addition, the tenants at the property said they had not seen a gas safety record at any point in the last five years while they had been living at the property.
Both men pleaded guilty to breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 at Dudley Magistrates’ Court. They were prosecuted on January 27th by HSE , who also discovered that two gas fires provided by the landlords had been previously condemned by National Grid. This had happened after an inspection, when the smell of gas had been detected in the property.
Philip Hale was fined £1,000, Roger Hale was fined £1,500 and both were ordered to pay costs of £464 each.
HSE inspector Pam Folsom said after the hearing: “Philip and Roger Hale potentially put lives and property in danger by ignoring their responsibilities as landlords of this property.
“It is essential landlords have gas appliances inspected annually. Well-maintained appliances reduce the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and dangerous gas leaks. Gas safety records are a legal requirement and give tenants the peace of mind they deserve when it comes to the safety of the appliances in their homes.”
She added that landlords who fail to have their gas appliances checked each year will be investigated by the HSE – and action will be taken when necessary.
The chief executive of the Gas Safe Register Russell Kramer stressed the importance of landlords knowing their duties and tenants knowing their rights, in regards to rented accommodation.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.