Slough Tenants Left In Gas Danger For Years

A Landlord's Failure To Carry Out Gas Checks Placed A Family In Danger

28.08.2014

Mohammed Nawaz, a Slough-based landlord, has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after he put the lives of his tenants in danger.

Mr Nawaz failed to carry out checks on gas-powered appliances in a property he was renting to a young family in the area, something that in his role as a landlord, he should have ensured was done every 12 months at least.

However, over a four-year period from June 2010 to February 2014, the landlord did not implement such measures, potentially placing the lives of his tenants at serious risk.

An engineer from the Gas Safe Register checked on the property, finding that equipment was in an inadequate condition, with a boiler labelled at-risk due to a poor flue seal and gas supply pipes of the wrong size.

Following this, the HSE issued Mr Nawaz with an enforcement notice, but still failed to resolve the issue, prolonging the danger the tenants were being exposed to.

In addition, the local council presented him with an abatement notice informing him that he had to comply with the law, but no improvements were made.

HSE inspector Karen Morris commented: "There is no excuse for landlords failing to ensure that gas appliances in rented properties are properly maintained and subject to annual safety checks."

She went on to say that while these are simple, inexpensive measures to implement, they could help to save a life.

Chief executive of the Gas Safe Register Russell Kramer added: "A landlord must be able to provide a gas safety record of the property, showing that the gas appliances have been safety-checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer in the last 12 months."

For his safety failings, Mr Nawaz was fined £9,000 at Slough Magistrates' Court, while also being ordered to pay a legal bill totalling £3,941.

The landlord admitted two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, as well as a further charge relating to his non-compliance with the HSE Improvement Notice he had been served.

Katrina Elsey, a legal specialist at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in public liability claims, said: "This is a worrying case and while it is welcome that the outcome was not much worse, it is important that landlords always recognise their duties in terms of the safety of tenants.

“Regular checks of gas appliances by registered experts are an important part of property maintenance and could make an important difference when it comes to the identification of potentially harmful faults.

“An incident of this nature highlights where very clear issues have emerged and it is vital that lessons are always learned from such cases to ensure that the same issues are not repeated in the future.”