On the 22nd of November, Westminster Magistrates Court heard that Harpal Singh, 53, of North London had installed a boiler himself at a three bedroomed property which he owns on Montague Rd. Tottenham Hale, London, together with all the associated pipework. The boiler subsequently, probably not unsurprisingly, developed a gas leak which Singh attempted to repair on three separate occasions without any success.
It was at this point that the concerned tenant, still smelling gas, rightly contacted the National Grid who sent out a qualified technician to inspect Singh’s handywork, immediately cutting off the gas supply. Further investigations led to six faults being reported with the installation.
The Health and Safety Executive subsequently got involved and proceeded to prosecute Singh on three counts of breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, as there was no evidence that he had appointed a Gas Safe registered contractor to either carry out the work or subsequently inspect it as required legally under the above act.
Although Singh pleaded guilty to all three counts, he was still jailed for 26 weeks with the judge described him as acting “fast and loose” with his tenants’ lives.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Lisa Chappell said: “The regulations covering landlords’ duties relating to gas appliances in their properties are unambiguous and clearly state that only qualified engineers are permitted to undertake gas installations, checks and maintenance. Mr Singh should have known this, and his negligence could have cost lives. Faulty installations can cause fires, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, and that is why only Gas Safe registered engineers should be used. There are many instances where landlords fail to fulfil their duties, and I hope today’s case serves as a reminder that we will prosecute when that is the case.”
Being the landlord of any property comes with various responsibilities including the welfare and safety of tenants which should always be treated as a number one priority. Safe appliances, as well as other legislation should always be adhered to including the need for suitable residential landlord insurance, something which we can always facilitate here at CompareCrazy.com. The business insurance comparison site!