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Bogus gas fitter alert goes out to landlords
24 December 2014
Buy to let landlords are falling victim to bogus gas fitters leaving tenants and homes at risk due to shoddy workmanship, claim safety watchdogs.
Several gas fitters have faced the courts as a result of posing as Gas Safe engineers when they are not members of the organisation or their membership has lapsed.
Gas Safe is a register of qualified engineers who are allowed to work on gas appliances.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the government agency responsible for managing Gas Safe – has taken several contractors and firms to court for poor work at buy to let homes that have potentially left tenants lives in danger.
The most recent was Matthew Congdon, 33, director of Coastal Plumbing and Heating Ltd, in Bude, Devon.
Congdon claimed his firm was on the Gas Safe register and issued official Gas Safe compliance certificates to landlords for months after his membership had lapsed.
Bodmin Magistrates Court was told the HSE found 33 examples of shoddy workmanship that failed manufacturer and compliance specifications on two boilers and a gas fire the company had installed in private rented homes.
Congdon pleaded guilty to breaking four gas safety rules and was fined £5,000, ordered to pay £418 and £700 compensation.
HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “It is a legal requirement for landlords and managing agents to undertake annual gas safety checks at properties and it is a legal requirement for them to use a member of Gas Safe Register.”
Landlords can verify an engineer is a member of Gas Safe online or by telephone.
Gas Safe engineers can be searched by post code or identification number.
“In several recent cases, the engineer or firm has displayed Gas Safe logos on paperwork and vehicles but has either never been registered or had a registration that has lapsed,” said the HSE.
“This means they may not be up to date with the latest compliance measures and their work could be potentially dangerous.
“Always check an engineer’s credentials before letting them start work. Genuine Gas Safe members will be happy to give their details over.”
Go to the Gas Safe web site
Information on gas work can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/gas.htm and at http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/