A UK landlord has received a suspended prison sentence and been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in costs upon pleading guilty to gas safety offences.
Mr Paul Perry, 65, carried out a DIY repair at his buy-to-let property in Plymouth despite having no relevant training and not being a member of the Gas Safety Register.
A qualified engineer later visiting the property discovered that Mr Perry’s handiwork had resulted in a serious gas leak – which had the potential to cause a “fatal explosion” at any given time, according to reports.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was promptly contacted and an investigation revealed that Mr Perry had carried out several other gas-related repairs at the property without the correct licence.
A Court was further told that the landlord had failed to appoint qualified engineers to carry out the correct annual gas safety checks at the property for the past six to seven years – even when prompted to do so by his tenants.
The property was occupied by a young family – whose requests for annual checks and copies of the home’s gas safety certificate went completely ignored by Mr Perry, a Court heard.
At Plymouth Crown Court, Mr Perry was handed a ten month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.
Commenting on the case, HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Landlords have a legal duty to carry out annual gas safety checks which are there to protect their tenants from death or injury.
“In this case, Mr Perry ignored a request from his tenant to carry out the checks and to provide a copy of the safety record.
“He compounded the matter by undertaking gas work himself which he was neither trained nor registered to undertake and which resulted in a gas leak which could have caused a fatal gas explosion”.
Ben Menahem, Solicitor at OGR Stock Denton, added: “A worthy point to make to any clients where an AST is involved is that all statutory compliance is essential – or there could potentially be criminal implications”.