Two More Prosecutions Highlight Importance Of Gas Safety

HSE's Latest Cases Demonstrate Need For Landlords To Meet Responsibilities

23.08.2012

Landlords have been urged by legal experts to recognise their responsibilities when it comes to gas safety, after two Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecutions highlighted worrying failings in this area.

Two landlords in Sheffield were recently handed suspended jail sentences and ordered to undertake community service after dangerous defects were found on gas appliances in a property they rented out to a young woman.

The problems were discovered when a council housing officer saw a gas fire’s flame burn yellow. A Gas Safe Register Investigator was then notified and found serious faults with a number of appliances and fittings. A HSE inspector who visited the house also described the condition of appliances as “shocking” and said the problems had put their tenant at significant risk.

In a separate case, a landlord from Camberwell Green was handed a suspended sentence over an incident in which a mother, her partner and daughter suffered carbon monoxide poisoning at a flat that they rented from him.

Investigations revealed that the source of the leak was a faulty gas boiler, while the HSE also found that the system had a poor record of maintenance.

Irwin Mitchell represents victims who have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning and other problems as a result of landlords failing to meet their health and safety responsibilities.

Commenting on these cases, legal expert Sally Rissbrook said: “Landlords have a duty to ensure that properties are maintained to a safe standard and both of these incidents highlight where clear failings have been made.

“We would urge landlords to ensure that checks on appliances are always carried out by registered engineers on a regular basis, as the consequences of failing to do this can be huge.

“It is very fortunate that no one was seriously injured or killed as a result of the problems in these cases and it is vital these incidents act as a warning to other landlords that they cannot underestimate the importance of such issues.”