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Importance of gas safety highlighted by landlord fine
19th December 2011
A recent legal case as highlighted the importance of landlords meeting their responsibilities when it comes to gas safety.
Landlords are required by law to obtain a gas safety certificate covering each property they let to ensure gas appliances have been properly and safely installed and annual checks carried out.
Failure to do this could lead to large fines for landlords as well as potentially harming tenants' health.
This is what happened to one landlord from Croydon, who was this month fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,000 after pleading guilty to breaching gas safety regulations in a case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Ambulance and fire crews were called to the landlord's property in March 2009, where they found several people suffering flu-like symptoms and dizziness.
Five residents were taken from the property to Princess Royal University hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
A subsequent inspection by the HSE found the landlord did not have a landlord's gas safety certificate covering the property, meaning the gas hob, boiler and flue had not been inspected by a qualified gas engineer.
It was discovered the carbon monoxide was coming from a gas boiler in the cellar and gas engineers found a taped-up air vent had led to insufficient fresh air coming into the cellar.
HSE inspector Matthew Raine commented: "This carbon monoxide poisoning could easily have been fatal.
"If [the landlord] had fulfilled his legal obligation to get the property inspected, he would have been made aware just how dangerous it was for the air vent to be taped-up."
As well as making sure their properties have gas safety certificates, buy-to-let owners should also consider taking out landlord liability insurance to make sure they are protected financially should an accident still occur.
Posted by Noah Collins