A Staffordshire based landlord has received a suspended prison sentence for failing to provide a gas safety certificate.
Steven Micklewright of Kangs Solicitors sets out the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Health and Safety Team
The Court heard how the landlord failed to present a Landlords Gas Safety Record to the Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) despite numerous attempts by the HSE to obtain a copy.
The HSE served the landlord with an Improvement Notice requiring him to arrange for a registered gas fitter to carry out an inspection of the gas appliances in the rented property and produce a Landlords Gas Safety Record. The landlord failed, however, to comply with the Improvement Notice.
The Relevant Health and Safety Law | Kangs Regulatory Law Advisors
Regulation 36(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (‘Regulation 36 (3)’) states:
‘the landlord shall…in the case of a lease…ensure that each appliance and flue to which the duty extends is checked for safety within a period 12 months before the lease commences or has been or is so checked within 12 months after the appliance or flue has been installed…and…ensure that a record in respect of any appliance or flue so checked is made and retained for a period of 2 years from the date of that check’
Section 21 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (‘Section 21) states:
‘if an inspector is of the opinion that a person is contravening one or more of the relevant statutory provisions, or has contravened one or more of those provisions…he may serve on him a notice (improvement notice)…requiring that person to remedy the contravention’
The Hearing | Gas Safety Record | Kangs Health and Safety Defence Solicitors
Having pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36 (3) and Section 21, the landlord was:
- sentenced to a total of thirty six weeks imprisonment, suspended for twelve months and
- ordered to complete one hundred and forty hours unpaid work and
- ordered to pay costs of over six thousand pounds.
HSE Inspector Wayne Owen said:
“the landlord potentially put the health of his tenants at risk and also chose to ignore the repeated requests by the HSE to produce the gas safety record…every year around 7 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated. It is important that landlords fulfil their legal gas safety obligations to their tenants”.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Health and Safety Solicitors
Our specialist lawyers are able to provide advice and assistance throughout the entire criminal process, from the initial intervention by the health and safety executive through to enforcement, interview under caution and ultimately the defence of any ensuing criminal prosecution.
With a maximum prison sentence of up to two years on indictment for breaching an Improvement Notice, it is imperative that you seek specialist advice from the outset.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
If you have been issued with an Improvement Notice, or are now being prosecuted for ignoring an Improvement Notice, please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.