£14k fines for ‘no boiler check’ landlords
The lives of a young family were put at risk by their landlord who failed to have their gas boiler regularly serviced and checked, a court has heard.The mother, her partner and young child moved into the property in Newquay, Cornwall, in July 2013 but were not supplied with a copy of a gas safety record by their landlords, Andrew and Deborah Hopkinson.
A year later, the tenant asked about a safety inspection of the boiler but no inspection took place.
In June 2014, the family noticed a gas smell and called in Wales and West Utilities, which isolated the boiler. A Gas Safe registered engineer later inspected the appliance and issued an “Immediately Dangerous” notice on the boiler.
The Health and Safety Executive was alerted and, following an investigation, prosecuted the Hopkinsons.
The HSE investigation found six instances of the landlords’ gas safety checks not taking place within the legally required 12 month period, with the dates ranging between five days and 15 months overdue.
The gas boiler, which was at least 11 years old, was last serviced on 19 December 2012. The owner’s manual recommends annual servicing of the boiler. It had not been serviced for 18 months when it was isolated for safety purposes and found to be producing high levels of carbon monoxide.
The landlords, who live near Newquay, each pleaded guilty to two breaches of gas safety regulations. Each was fined a total of £7,000 and ordered to pay £209 costs. Mrs Hopkinson was also fined £7,000 with £209 costs.
HSE Inspector Simon Jones says it was fortunate “that this incident did not lead to death or injury for the tenant or her young family. Landlords must ensure annual safety checks are carried out on gas appliances at their properties and ensure they are serviced and maintained in good working order.”
Central Housing Group’s ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme provides a professional and comprehensive management service with regular property inspections. Furthermore, an integral aspect of our professional management service is to offer advice to our landlords on all relevant legal, health and safety regulations concerning their properties. Our ‘Guaranteed Rent’ Scheme incorporates regular reminders, as necessary, and arrangement, if instructed, of all appropriate statutory Gas and Electrical safety checks and works, on our landlords’ behalf.