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South Devon landlord carried out illegal gas safety checks

Date:
19 March 2015

A landlord from Torquay illegally carried out annual gas safety checks at his properties despite not being a registered gas engineer, a court has heard. 

Raymond Williams potentially put his tenants’ lives at risk by carrying out the statutory safety checks himself between April 2013 and October 2014. He also fraudulently filled out landlord’s gas safety documents using a fake Gas Safe Register number. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Williams at Torquay Magistrates’ Court today (19 March) after his work was investigated following a complaint from one of his tenants. 

The court heard that Mr Williams carried out his own safety checks at five properties in Torquay and one in Newton Abbott. The checks should only have been carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met. 

Raymond Williams, of Armada Crescent, Torquay, pleaded guilty to four breaches of gas safety legislation and was fined a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay £418 in costs. 

HSE Inspector Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said: “Mr Williams should never have carried out any gas safety checks as he was neither competent nor registered to do so. He then compounded these offences by fraudulently filling out gas safety documents. 

“Landlords must ensure checks are carried out by registered Gas Safe engineers who are independent and competent to do the work. 

“Such checks are vital to protect tenants from death or injury caused by potentially dangerous gas appliances.” 

Russell Krӓmer, chief executive at Gas Safe Register, said: “Landlords have a responsibility to make sure their tenants are safe when it comes to gas. In addition, tenants have a right to make sure their landlord gets all their gas appliances safety checked by a registered gas engineer every year. 

“Tenants and landlords can check that the gas engineer carrying out the work is registered by checking their Gas Safe ID card. Always ask to see this card and check their unique licence number with Gas Safe Register before letting them work on your gas appliances.” 

Further information on landlords’ responsibility for gas safety can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/landlords/ 

Notes to Editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk 
  2. Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No employer shall allow any of his employees to carry out any work in relation to a gas fitting or service pipework and no self-employed person shall carry out any such work, unless the employer or self-employed person, as the case may be, is a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of this paragraph.” 
  3. Regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “No person shall falsely pretend to be a member of a class of persons required to be approved under paragraph (3) above.” 
  4. Regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (2) above, a landlord shall ensure that each appliance and flue to which that duty extends is checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and at intervals of not more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety (whether such check was made pursuant to these Regulations or not).” 
  5. Regulation 36(4) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “Every landlord shall ensure that any work in relation to a relevant gas fitting or any check of a gas appliance or flue carried out pursuant to paragraphs (2) or (3) above is carried out by, or by an employee of, a member of a class of persons approved for the time being by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of regulation 3(3) of these Regulations.”
  6. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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