Landlord handed suspended sentence for illegal gas work

HSE prosecutes Plymouth landlord for performing dangerous gas work on his boiler system

A Plymouth landlord has pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety regulations in Plymouth Crown Court. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) began investigating Paul Perry in the months following September 2015.  A Gas Safe Register engineer had attended a property belonging to Mr Perry in St Levan Road and found dangerous gas work. A family with young children were tenants at the house at the time of the incident.

Paul Perry had called out engineer Mr Grieves to St Levan Road to perform a gas safety check. It is a legal requirement for landlords to get an annual gas appliance check. A Gas Safe certified engineer must perform the check. Following successful completion, the engineer will present a gas safety certificate.

A statement from Mr Grieves was heard in court: “I was doing a tightness test on the gas meter when I noticed the flue hadn’t been sealed; I was distracted so I checked out the boiler. The condensate pipe was going into a plastic bin, and it smelled like gas in the room.”

Immediate evacuation

The statement stated how Mr Grieves’ “sniffer” had detected gas in the rooms tenanted by the young family. As a result, he quickly evacuated them, fearing an imminent gas explosion. It turned out the landlord had also carried out shoddy gas work on the gas cooker pipework.

The HSE investigation found that St Levan Road tenants had asked Paul Perry for a copy of his gas safety certificate. He had been unable to provide any evidence of an annual gas appliance check though.

Mr Perry was handed a 10 months suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.

HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, commented: “Landlords have a legal duty to carry out annual gas safety checks which are there to protect their tenants from death or injury.”

For more information regarding our boiler, central heating, and gas safety services, contact us for free on 0800 311 8990.  A local, accredited engineer will provide the right service for you.