Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Edwards rented out a property in Hamble Road, Didcot, Oxfordshire. In February 2011, HSE was informed by a Housing Officer with South Oxfordshire District Council, that the property had no Landlord’s Gas Safety Check Record (LGSCR). HSE made many attempts up to 8 August 2011 to request that Mr Edwards supply a LGSCR, but he failed to do this, so an Improvement Notice was served to force the landlord to provide one.
On 25 August 2011, HSE inspector Dozie Azubike visited the property and a tenant informed him that a gas installer had visited a few days previously and was going to replace the existing boiler with a new one. At a second visit on 12 September 2011, the boiler was found inoperative and unused since 1 September.
In interviews conducted by HSE, Mr Edwards conceded that he had a LGSCR for a different property he rented out and was aware of gas safety requirements.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Dozie Azubike said:
"This is a case of a landlord knowingly ignoring his responsibilities and thereby putting people at risk. Every year approximately 20 people die and many others suffer ill health from carbon monoxide poisoning. Unchecked gas appliances do become unsafe over time, exposing tenants to possible serious injuries or even fatality. It is therefore important that landlords fulfil their gas safety obligations to their tenants."
Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said,
"Landlords have a duty to ensure that their gas appliances in a property are safe to use – this means ensuring an annual gas safety check is carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. It also means being able to provide tenants with an up to date gas safety record. It is important that tenants also know their rights when it comes to gas safety issues and aren’t afraid to ask to see evidence that gas appliances have been checked and are safe."
William Edwards of Lytton Road, Florence Park, Oxford, pleaded guilty to breaching two counts of Regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,179. He was also given a conditional discharge of 12 months.
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