Lancaster landlord sentenced for putting lives at risk

A landlord in Lancaster has been sentenced for putting the lives of a family at risk by failing to arrange an annual gas safety check.

Carole McMillan, 57, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after she failed to arrange for a registered engineer to visit a property on Birkdale Close in Scalehill.

Lancaster Magistrates’ Court heard Ms McMillan had been renting the house out to a couple and their two young children, aged five years and nine months old. An investigation was launched on 27 April 2010 when it was discovered that gas appliances at the house had not been checked since 6 February 2009.

Carol McMillan admitted a breach of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 for failing to arrange an annual gas safety check. Ms McMillan, of Hatlex Lane in Hest Bank, Lancaster, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £2,250 in prosecution costs on 13 March 2012.

Rohan Lye, the investigating inspector at HSE, said:

“Carole McMillan put the whole family at risk by failing to make sure an annual gas safety check was carried out.

“Landlords have a legal duty to ensure tenants aren’t exposed to dangers from gas appliances in their home. It doesn’t cost a lot to arrange a visit from a registered gas engineer but checking that appliances are safe once a year could save someone’s life.”

Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, the official list of legal and safe gas engineers, added:

“By law, every rented home should have an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure that all gas fittings and appliances are working safely and efficiently. This is the landlord’s legal responsibility.

“Landlords must also give tenants a copy of the gas safety record to prove that these checks have been done. If your landlord hasn’t provided an up to date gas safety record, you could be at risk from gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Around 20 people die every year in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by unsafe gas appliances. Landlords are legally required to arrange an annual inspection of their properties by an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register.

Homeowners and landlords can find a registered gas engineer by visiting link to external website[1].