Bradford landlord penalised for safety failings

by Sarah Ashcroft

A private property owner operating in Bradford has been prosecuted after he repeatedly flouted health and safety regulations that required him to have gas appliances checked on a regular basis.

Landlord Khalid Khan put the wellbeing of a mother and her two children at risk by ignoring guidelines that demand proprietors produce a gas safety record for households.

The offender failed to provide proof that an annual safety check was carried out on gas equipment - including the boiler - at the property in Duchy Avenue, Heaton, every year, despite warnings from Bradford City Council and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A hearing at Bradford Magistrates' Court revealed that the local authority had attempted to contact Mr Khan on several occasions between November 2009 and April 2011 in order to obtain the document, but was forced to get the HSE involved.

He had also left the single parent and her two children, who are both aged under ten, without hot water and heating for several months, until the council replaced the faulty boiler.

Mr Khan was presented with an enforcement record giving him a month to produce the document. However, no gas safety record was provided for the property at any point since the tenant moved in five years ago.

During the legal proceedings, the landlord - who denied the charges - was found guilty of both offences by the court and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work over 12 months, as well as pay £1,500 prosecution costs.

HSE inspector Rachel Brittain said this type of incident is common among private landlords, leaving the health of tenants at great risk.

She added: "Landlords have responsibilities to ensure that the gas appliances in their rented properties are properly maintained and that they are checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months.

"Landlords who refuse to take this duty of care seriously place their tenants potentially at risk of injury or even death. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute those who choose to ignore their responsibilities in this way."

Landlords who want advice on what safety regulations they need to comply with should consult Lawpack's book Residential Lettings - The Complete Guide. It discusses in detail your obligations as a landlord, including gas, electricity and fire checks.

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Published on: January 4, 2013

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