Landlord responded to request for gas safety certificate by producing fake document in court…
A landlord in Cambridge has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after he endangered the lives of his tenants by producing a fake safety certificate suggesting that gas appliances at the houses he rented were safe when that was not necessarily the case.
The 43-year-old landlord deliberately led safety officials astray according to Cambridge Magistrates’ Court by responding to a notice issued by the City Council in October 2009 requesting a gas safety record for his properties with a falsified document.
The court was also told that after initially ignoring the request from the City Council, the landlord was issued with an Improvement Notice by the HSE and was summoned to court in August 2012 whereupon the gas safety record he had in his possession was found to be fake.
The landlord pleaded guilty to two charges under Section 33(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which require legal documents to be valid and employers or landlords to respond honestly to legal requests from the safety authorities. He was given a two month prison sentence but this was suspended for 12 months. The court also decided to make the landlord wear an electronic tag for two months and he was ordered to pay the prosecution costs amounting to £4,768.
HSE Inspector Roxanne Barker spoke after the hearing:
“Every year, around 20 people die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning caused by improperly installed or maintained gas appliances. Many others suffer ill health. There were four tenants at the property for which the landlord was responsible, all of whom were put at unnecessary risk.
“The landlord then attempted to deceive HSE and the Court by producing a document which he knew to be false.
“It is important that landlords fulfil their legal gas safety obligations to their tenants by ensuring that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer, and that tenants are provided with a copy of these checks.”
Author: Julian Roberts
Health and Safety News” updates newsletter, click here. The new ‘Health and Safety News’ section on our web site is updated daily with new, up to the minute stories. The stories are also released via Twitter – why not follow us on Twitter? and receive new stories as and when they happen?