An Accrington landlord has been ordered to pay nearly £60,000 in fines and costs after he ignored repeated warnings about arranging an annual gas safety check at a house in the town.
Tariq Ali was given numerous opportunities by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to arrange an inspection for a property on Persia Street after the previous gas safety record expired in October 2012.
Landlords are required by law to have gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer at least once a year, but Ali failed to do this.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that he first came to the attention of the Gas Safe Register – the official body for gas engineers – in 2011 after gas appliances at several of his properties were classified as being ‘at risk’ or ‘immediately’ dangerous’.
Ali was served with an improvement notice relating to the property on Persia Street on 12 September 2013, giving him one month to arrange an annual gas safety check. However, he failed to meet the deadline.
Ali, of Knotwood Court, Accrington, was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £18,054 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 on 4 September 2014. The charges relate to failing to have the gas appliances checked annually, and failing to comply with an improvement notice.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Stuart Kitchingman said: “Mr Ali put his tenants’ lives at risk for financial gain by failing to arrange a gas safety check for nearly two years. We gave him several chances to organise an inspection, but he ignored all of these – including a formal improvement notice. We therefore had no choice but to take legal action.
“Dozens of people are killed or badly harmed every year from carbon monoxide poisoning so it is vital that landlords take the risks seriously. We will continue to prosecute landlords who think the law doesn’t apply to them.”
Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “When it comes to rented property, it is important that landlords know their duties and tenants know their rights. A landlord must be able to provide a gas safety record for the property, showing that the gas appliances have been safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer in the last 12 months.
“Tenants can also sign up to a free reminder service at staygassafe.co.uk to make sure their landlord or managing agent is carrying out their duties of getting an annual gas safety check.”