Tenants put at risk by unsafe gas appliances


The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning to all tenants and landlords regarding unsafe gas installations in rented properties.

This warning has been issued following an investigation by the HSE into the management of gas appliances in rented properties.

Two tenants living in rented accommodation in Birmingham began feeling unwell, suffering from headaches and grogginess. These symptoms are classic signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The tenants wondered if their gas appliances may be faulty and called their gas supplier.

The gas supplier immediately condemned a fire due to leaking pipe and various other faults in March 2008, whilst a further fire was also condemned some months later.

When the investigation by the HSE commenced it came to light that the landlord, did not own a current gas safety certificate for the properties. He was found guilty of breaching regulation 26(2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and ordered to pay a fine of £1,200 as well as court costs of £1,748.

The Court heard how despite the landlord knowing back in March 2008 of black soot marks above one of the fires and despite numerous attempts by the HSE to contact him, he had made no attempt to rectify matters, or service gas appliances or to obtain a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.

Black soot marks near to fires are a tell tale sign that something is wrong and by ignoring this, h3 put his tenant's health in grave danger. Prolonged high level exposure to carbon monoxide fumes can be fatal and it was only pure chance that his existing tenant's were lucky enough to spot the signs themselves and call in their gas supplier.

All landlords have a duty of care to protect their tenants. They must ensure that all gas and fossil fuel burning appliances are regularly serviced and that they hold a valid Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.

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