Unsafe Gas Appliances

A landlord has been fined after gas appliances in the property he rented out were found to be dangerously defective.

The landlord was found to have risked the lives of his tenants by failing to properly look after the appliances. He pleaded guilty after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showed that he failed to ensure that a wall mounted boiler and other appliances were safe.

Landlords are required by law to check all gas appliances and flues every year. The HSE say that in 2008/09 15 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning, largely as a result of badly fitted or poorly serviced gas appliances.

Regulation 36(2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states;
“Every landlord shall ensure that there is maintained in a safe condition- (a) any relevant gas fitting; and (b) any flue which serves any relevant gas fitting, so as to prevent the risk of injury to any person in lawful occupation of relevant premises.”
 
Regulation 36(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 goes on to say; “Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (2) above, a landlord shall- (a) 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.”

Any landlord who fails to take adequate measures to protect the health of their tenants might be responsible in Law to pay damages in the event that they suffer any personal injury as a result of any breach.

Landlords have a duty under section 4(4) of the Defective Premises Act 1972 to keep their tenants reasonably safe from personal injury.

In addition, section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that landlords have an implied covenant;

(a)to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

(b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity), and

(c)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for space heating and heating water.

Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP specialise in Occupiers Liability Law. If you have been involved in an accident and require advice, please contact us on the above number.