Two Sheffield landlords have been given suspended jail sentences for failing to maintain gas appliances at a flat they rented out.
The problem was first identified when council housing officers went to the property in Gleadless Road and noticed a gas fire’s flame burning yellow.
A subsequent investigation carried out by a Gas Safe Register official found a number of serious faults with fittings and appliances throughout the home before decommissioning the boiler, cooker and fires, while classifying them as “immediately dangerous”. In addition, the inspector highlighted evidence of carbon monoxide fumes in the property, which could have proved fatal to the resident if left unnoticed.
Waheed Ahmid, of Albert Road, Sheffield, and Farhat Basharat, of Violet Bank Road, Sheffield, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three charges under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations carried out between 3 December 2009 and 2 December 2010.
They were both given three-month suspended jail sentences for 12 months. Mr Ahmid was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of community service and pay £2,500 towards prosecution costs. Mr Basharat was ordered to undertake 200 hours of community service and pay £5,000 in costs.
The Health and Safety Executive brought last week’s prosecution after finding the appliances and flues in the property had not been annually checked by a registered gas engineer, they had not been maintained in a safe condition as required by law and the tenant had never been given a copy of the gas safety record.
HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham said: “It is totally unacceptable to have a property where a tenant’s life is threatened because the gas appliances haven’t been properly installed or looked after. Although there was no injury the appliances were in a shocking condition. Some were spilling carbon monoxide into the rooms where they were sited. It is pure luck no one was made ill or even died. All landlords should be aware of the duty to maintain and check the safety of gas appliances supplied with the properties they rent”
Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Some landlords may think that failing to do an annual check on gas appliances, or having a landlord’s gas safety record isn’t that important, or may save them some money. What they fail to realise is that these checks are legal requirements and are in place to save lives.”