South Devon property maintenance man forged gas records

A man who ran a property maintenance business has been given a suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out community work for forging the details of a Gas Safe registered engineer and carrying out illegal gas safety checks.

Adrian Hunt, 42, carried out the compulsory annual safety checks on rented domestic properties in Dawlish, where he lives, on behalf of landlords and managing agents despite not being on the Gas Safe Register.

In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Newton Abbot Magistrates heard today (19 September) that Mr Hunt’s services were used by a number of managing agents in South Devon.

He offered to organise the safety checks and often used a registered Gas Safe engineer, but on at least three occasions, at properties in Brook Street and Brookdale Terrace, Dawlish, he did the checks himself and filled out the gas safety record using the details of a real Gas Safe registered engineer. Mr Hunt failed to check the supply of combustion air after working on gas appliances.

The issue came to light when the registered gas engineer went to a property and saw his details had been filled out on the record with someone else’s handwriting.

Adrian Hunt of Holman Close, Dawlish, was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(3), 3(7) and 26(9)(b), of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was sentenced to 120 days in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said:

“Tenants were put at real risk by the actions of Adrian Hunt when he deliberately misled landlords and tenants into believing that gas appliances were safe to use.

“Landlords and tenants should be able to rely on the honesty of people who undertake important safety checks on gas appliances at their properties.

“Annual landlord gas safety checks are important because of the dangers from carbon monoxide poisoning and fire and explosion from faulty or poorly maintained gas appliances, which a reliable landlord gas safety check will highlight.”

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said:

“Gas work should only be undertaken by a suitably qualified and competent Gas Safe registered engineer. Every registered engineer carries an ID card which shows they are who they say they are and which clearly shows the types of gas work they can carry out. You can check the ID of an engineer by link to external website or calling 0800 408 550.”