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£20k fine but no prison for landlord who breached gas rules

A landlord has been given a suspended jail sentence and fined £10,000 for putting his tenants’ lives in danger by carrying out illegal gas work at the flats he let out.Vispasp Sarkari, of Harrow in north London, rented out five flats in a block in Wembley.

He was prosecuted after a Health and Safety Executive investigation into a serious safety breach.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Sakari was caught “red-handed” back in August 2013, carrying out work on a boiler by a visiting National Grid engineer. It followed a complaint that the landlord was working on gas fittings in a flat that was home to a family with children.

The HSE found evidence that Sarkari had carried out illegal gas work at the block of flats on a number of occasions, despite the fact he was not Gas Safe registered. The court was told that it was only by being registered with the accreditation body Gas Safe that an individual or firm was legally entitled to undertake any work on gas fittings.

On the day of the visit by the National Grid, Sarkari was working with another person and there was no evidence he was registered with Gas Safe.

Sarkari was sentenced to 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years, 150 hours’ unpaid community work and fined £10,000, as well as being ordered to pay £9,978 in costs after admitting breaching the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.

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