A landlord has been fined thousands of pounds and handed a suspended jail sentence for failing to maintain two properties in Cornwall.
A judge at Truro Crown Court heard how David Bush of Exeter Street, Launceston, had put his tenants and the public at risk by failing on gas safety upkeep at his two rental properties on St Thomas Road, Launceston.
Mr Bush pleaded guilty to safety breaches and has been handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and a fine of £5,000. He has also been ordered to pay costs of £5,524.
Serious safety breaches
Landlords are required to maintain their properties in accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
Mr Bush was discovered to have fallen short of his legal obligations as a landlord, after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered that he had failed to maintain Landlord Gas Safety Records (LGSR) after May 2014.
The negligent landlord also failed to have the gas appliances at the two properties serviced for more than four years.
The law obligates property lessors or managers to ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys/flues provided for tenants are safe and fit for purpose. This includes annual inspections/servicing.
Simon Jones, an HSE inspector, responded to the hearing, saying: “Mr Bush put the residents and other members of the public at risk of harm by failing to maintain gas appliances in the domestic property. Landlords must ensure they obtain a Landlord’s Gas Safety Record and maintain all gas appliances in accordance with the law.”
Mr Bush pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 36 (2)(a) and 36 (3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and Regulation 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
A landlord’s obligation
Housing and homelessness charity Shelter has issued a warning to tenants after uncovering that one in ten landlords are letting out properties without issuing a gas safety certificate.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Douglas Jensen, a support officer from the charity, says: “Your landlord must give you a copy of the latest gas safety record before you move into the property.
“They must give the safety certificate to you within 28 days of the gas safety check being carried out.”
Reference: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: September 29, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown