A property firm that put tenants’ lives at risk by not making sure gas boilers were safe has been taken to court and fined.
Barclay Ltd, of Richmond in South West London, has been fined £6,500 and told to pay costs of £1,822 after a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) got involved after a gas worker found a boiler at a property in Hampstead hadn’t been looked after properly.
The registered engineer complained and the HSE found that between 2004 and last year Barclay had not performed proper safety checks on the boiler. It’s a legal requirement that they are done annually.
During the probe, HSE discovered another property rented by the firm in the area where the boiler checks had not been done within a year.
Safety body takes action
The HSE served Barclay with an improvement notice saying it must do the required checks – but, the court was told, two weeks later the work had still not been done.
Company boss, Jonathan Silver, went to the hearing to admit his firm had broken gas safety regulations and failed to follow the notice it was given by the HSE to improve.
Anne Gloor, a HSE inspector, said after the hearing that there were over 10 buildings across Willesden, Richmond and Hampstead run by Barclay – meaning they had about 50 tenants.
She said the firm, of Kings Road, near Richmond Park, put their lives at risk along with those of anyone living beside them.
Carbon monoxide risk
Ms Gloor said Barclay “chose to ignore” the warnings the HSE gave it and the later action it took to make the company check its gas appliances.
She said the reason there is a legal duty on landlords to check them is to make sure they’re still safe for tenants to use. People renting homes should be given a copy of the records so they know the checks are being carried out, she added.
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Date Published: December 13, 2014
Author: David Brown