An Accrington landlord has been sentenced to six months imprisonment after he ignored repeated warnings about arranging an annual gas safety check at a house in the town.
The sentence was suspended for 12 months during this period he will be electronically tagged and will have to abide by a curfew between 7pm and 7am for the first three months.
Tariq Ali, was given numerous opportunities by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to arrange an inspection for a property he owned on Persia Street after the previous gas safety record expired in October 2012.
Landlords are required by law to have gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer at least once a year, but Mr Ali failed to do this.
Mr Ali was found Guilty following a trial on 11 March 2016 in Trafford Magistrates’ Court of single breaches of Regulation 36(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Section 33(1)(g) the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
He was sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 18 April.
The charges relate to failing to have the gas appliances checked annually, and failing to comply with an improvement notice.
Mr Ali will have to pay £20,000 towards HSE costs.
The court heard Mr Ali first came to the attention of the Gas Safe Register – the official body for gas engineers – in 2011 after gas appliances at several of his properties were classified as being ‘at risk’ or ‘immediately dangerous’.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stuart Kitchingman said: “Mr Ali put his tenants’ lives at risk for financial gain by failing to arrange a gas safety check for nearly two years. We gave him several chances to organise an inspection, but he ignored all of these – including a formal improvement notice. HSE will always take legal action if notices are not complied with.
“On average over 8 people are killed and nearly 330 people are reported injured every year by carbon monoxide poisoning from gas appliances and by fires and explosions caused by faulty gas installations, so it is vital that landlords take the risks seriously. We will continue to prosecute landlords who think the law doesn’t apply to them.”
Jonathan Samuels, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, commented: “When it comes to rented property, it is important that landlords know their duties and tenants know their rights. A landlord must maintain his gas appliances in a safe condition be able to provide a gas safety record for the property, showing that the gas appliances have been safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer in the last 12 months.
“Tenants can also sign up to a free reminder service at staygassafe.co.uk to make sure their landlord or managing agent is carrying out their duties of getting an annual gas safety check.”
Tenants whose landlords have failed to carry out annual gas safety checks and provide a copy of the record are being encouraged to contact HSE at www.hse.gov.uk/contact.