Chester landlord ignored gas safety warnings

A Chester landlord has been fined after ignoring repeated warnings about gas safety at a property she rented out in the city.

Nahida Hashim, 28, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after she failed to arrange for a registered gas engineer to visit a house on Queens Avenue between October 2009 and October 2011.

Chester Magistrates’ Court was told today (17 January 2013) that landlords are legally required to arrange annual gas safety checks of their properties to ensure the safety of tenants.

However, Ms Hashim neglected to do so despite being contacted on several occasions about the issue.

The court heard that she was first contacted by a Housing Standards Officer at Cheshire West and Chester Council in May 2011 asking to see a copy of the Landlord Gas Safety Record for the property.

HSE then wrote to her on two occasions in July after she failed to respond to the council’s request, but it also received no reply.

In September, HSE issued Ms Hashim with an Improvement Notice giving her 21 days to arrange a gas safety check and provide proof it had been carried out. Again, she ignored this.

Nahida Hashim pleaded guilty to breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to arrange an annual gas safety check and failing to comply with an Improvement Notice. The landlord, of Tarvin Road in Littleton, Chester, was fined £400 and ordered to pay £1,000 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Martin Paren said:

“Ms Hashim was given three chances to arrange a gas safety check at the property before we issued an Improvement Notice, but even then she still failed to take any action.

“Unsafe gas appliances are responsible for dozens of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every year. That is why it’s a legal requirement for landlords to arrange checks.

“This case should act as a warning to landlords that if they ignore the law then they may find themselves in court.”

Homeowners and landlords can find a registered gas engineer, or check someone is registered, by visiting link to external website.