A property firm in Richmond has been prosecuted after it put lives at risk by repeatedly failing to make sure the gas boilers in the homes it rented were safe and free of dangerous defects.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the company, Barclay, of south west London, after a complaint from a registered gas engineer who discovered that a gas boiler in a rental in Hampstead had not been properly maintained.
The HSE found that Barclay, the landlord, had failed to have the boiler checked for safety – as is legally required every year – between 2004 and 2013.
Westminster Magistrates heard that an improvement notice was served by the HSE on the firm requiring it to complete the statutory landlord safety checks, but the work was not done until two weeks after the notice had expired.
During the investigation, the HSE also identified another Barclay property in Hampstead where there had also been no safety inspection of the gas boiler carried out within 12 months.
Barclay was fined a total of £6,500 and ordered to pay £1,822 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a charge of non-compliance with an enforcement notice. Company director, Jonathan Silver, appeared in court to enter the guilty pleas.
After the hearing, HSE inspector, Anne Gloor, said:
“We found that Barclay owned more than ten properties in Richmond, Hampstead and Willesden, which involved around 50 tenants. The firm failed to maintain and check the gas appliances in all these properties.
“As a result, it put the lives of the residents, their neighbours, and their own properties in danger and chose to ignore the warnings and enforcement action from the HSE.
“Landlords have a statutory duty to carry out annual safety inspections on the gas appliances in their properties to ensure they remain safe to use. A tenant should be provided with a copy of the landlord’s gas safety record to show that this has been done.”