Morecambe landlord in court over gas safety risk

A property landlord has appeared in court after he failed to arrange for annual gas safety checks to be carried out at three flats in Morecambe.

Sean Powell was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for offences at properties on Balmoral Road and Clarendon Road between September 2009 and October 2010.

Lancaster Magistrates’ Court was told on Friday (28 September) that it is a legal requirement for landlords to arrange annual gas safety checks to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or gas leaks.

However, London-based Mr Powell, 44, failed to make sure checks were carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer at three flats, putting the lives of his tenants at risk.

Mr Powell pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 by failing to arrange annual gas safety checks.

Mr Powell, of Cleveland Gardens in Bayswater, London, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £1,424 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said:

“Mr Powell put the lives of his tenants at risk by failing to arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out annual checks of his properties.

“Dozens of people are killed or become seriously ill in the UK each year as a result of carbon monoxide poising, caused by unsafe gas appliances.

“This case should act as a warning to landlords that if they ignore the law then we will take action against them.”

Around 20 people die every year in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning. 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, or check someone is registered, by visiting link to external website.