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Blackburn Landlady in Court

Owner fined after ignoring repeated warnings about arranging an annual gas safety check at a property with five gas appliances

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council had made ‘numerous’ attempts to contact Samera Hussain between October 2012 and April 2013, but she failed to provide proof of a gas safety record for a property on Cumberland Street.

Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard that a tenant had lived in the house for nearly two years but a gas engineer only visited the property to carry out a safety check just before she moved out in June 2013. The court was told that there were four gas fires and one gas boiler in the house which, under UK law, should have been checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Blackburn Council first wrote to Mrs Hussain in October 2012 requesting proof of a gas safety check. This was followed up by four letters from the council and HSE, and a visit to the property where one of Mrs Hussain’s relatives lived as a further attempt to contact her. HSE also issued an Improvement Notice on 30 April 2013, giving Mrs Hussain 26 days to arrange a gas safety check but she failed to meet the deadline for this.

Samera Hussain pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to arrange an annual gas safety check and failing to comply with an Improvement Notice. Shewas fined £260 and ordered to pay £207 in prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Richard Clarke said: “Mrs Hussain potentially put her tenant’s life at risk by failing to arrange a gas safety check for nearly two years. We gave her several chances to organise an inspection, but she ignored all of these. As a result, we had no choice but to take legal action against her.

Russell Kramer, Chief Executive, Gas Safe Register, added: “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.”

 

Caption             Russel Kramer, CEO, GST – “it is important that landlords know their duties and tenants know their rights”.

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