A Birmingham lettings agency which failed to make sure gas safety checks had been carried out on one of its properties has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 by magistrates.
MT Properties Central, which is based in Small Heath, did not arrange statutory landlord gas safety checks on the house in Stechford, as well as failing to produce proof of the checks having gone ahead.
Responsibility and risk
Gas safety checks and possession of the correct safety certificates are just some of the responsibilities a landlord has towards their tenants, and it is important for residents to know their rights in order to avoid having their life put at risk.
The case was brought before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court following action by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which failed to get a response from the agency on several occasions, prompting it to issue an Improvement Notice in August 2013.
This notice outlined that MT Properties must get a Gas Safe-registered engineer to carry out the necessary checks by September 6 and have the visit backed up by the relevant documents, the court heard.
However, the company failed to comply with the notice or to request an extension – as is still the case today.
Letting agency negligence
MT Properties Central admitted breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £957.
The case reinforces the importance for landlords to keep an up-to-date maintenance record for their rented properties.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Karl Raw said MT Properties Central had plenty of opportunities to meet the requirements of the notice, saying: “There was no excuse for failing to do so.”
He pointed out that a gas safety check by a registered engineer is a “quick and easy” task costing as little as £60, and said such laws are in place “to protect people in their homes while using gas appliances”.
Source: Property Industry Eye
Date Published: August 21, 2014
Author: David Brown