A landlord from Lancashire has avoided jail after failing to carry out adequate gas safety checks at one of her properties.
Pritpall Kaur Singh from Preston has been handed a suspended prison for failing to comply with gas safety regulations and subsequent notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
A complaint was made to Preston City Council expressing concerns over the safety of a gas appliance at a property on Alvern Avenue in Fulwood, Preston.
Preston Magistrates Court heard the HSE had attempted to establish whether 44-year-old Mrs Singh was fulfilling her legal duties and complying with regulations to ensure annual gas checks were being undertaken out at her properties.
The HSE made contact with Mrs Singh, but say she failed to co-operate and, when asked, was unable to produce a Landlord Gas Safe Record to demonstrate that these checks had been carried out in line with her responsibility as a landlord.
Consequently, Mrs Singh was issued with an Improvement Notice (IN) for non-provision of a gas safety record for the gas appliances in her property, which she also failed to comply with.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Banks commented: “If you rent property out, you must comply with requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations, including the need to have a gas safety certificate.”
A deadly risk
Failing to check your gas appliances can be fatal, Mr Banks said.
He added: “Gas appliances should be regularly checked, as faulty appliances can kill.”
As well as posing a serious risk of fire and explosion, faulty appliances can also lead to gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords are legally obligated to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for tenants, this can also include those in communal areas if they can be accessed or used by tenants.
Failure to comply
After failing to observe the notice that was issued by the HSE, Mrs Singh was summoned to court to address the breaches of gas safety.
At court, Mrs Singh pleaded guilty to breaching section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act, 1974 and to one breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (36 (3).
The judge sentenced her to a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and has ordered her to pay £1,000.00 costs.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 9, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown