A local authority has been fined for not arranging annual gas safety checks for their tenants. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham are responsible for their tenants’ safety, just like other landlords in the country. It is essential that all gas appliances in rented properties are well maintained and checked by registered gas engineers who are on the Gas Safety list.
The local authority didn’t arrange the gas checks, and therefore no records were made either which resulted in fines of £83,600. The breach of the law was concerning a number of properties which included an emergency hostel. It wasn’t until a tenant made a formal complaint that the Health and Safety Executive were made aware of the failings between 2008 and 2010.
Admitted Guilt at Westminster Magistrates Court
The Health and Safety Inspectors carried out checks which showed that many of the appliances had not been checked since April 2008, which was 15 months prior to their inspection. A further twenty properties were inspected and it was shown that none of the boilers or the cookers in the properties had been checked either. The case was heard at Westminster Magistrates court. The authority pleaded guilty to nine separate charges for breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations. There were a further 14 breaches taken into account as well, and the huge fines represent the severity of the failings. They were also ordered to pay £15,553 in court costs.
The Deadly Killer
Gas appliances need to be checked each year to prevent deaths of tenants from carbon monoxide positioning. This is an invisible gas which has no odours which can leak from faulty gas appliances. Gas checks are used to spot any problems so they can be repaired before anyone is harmed. All landlords must arrange annual gas checks and keep records of the checks; else they will be prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.
Annual Gas Check
The local authority has since introduced a new scheme which will ensure they follow the law. The Health and Safety inspector, Nicola Masuria told the press that she hoped that all landlords and local authorities will pay attention to this case and ensure that they don’t fail to arrange the checks and keep records.
Gas Safety Laws for Landlords
As a landlord you must make sure you follow the laws. These laws are that all pipework, appliances and flues have to be kept in a good condition. They must be checked each year by an engineer who is on the Gas Safety Register and records must be kept for all of the safety checks. If you are unsure of your responsibilities it is a good idea to approach health and safety consultants for further help and information.
There are a number of health and safety services available in the UK. Find out more about the ways you can find help by calling 0800 1488 677. Don’t wait to be prosecuted or worse until someone dies from your breaches of the law.