penalty fine

07 Mar 24

A landlord who failed to produce annual gas safety certificates as she ignored warnings from a council, has left court with a bill for nearly £1,500.

South Tyneside Magistrates heard how Tracey Robinson of Seaham had under the Housing Act 2004 breached her duties as the landlord of a terraced house in Sunderland, when she failed to produce the gas safety certificate and other documents.

She was ordered to pay court costs of £1,236.86, a fine of £180 and a £72 victim surcharge.

Robinson had pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial. She said in her defence that she had moved house and had not received mail sent to her and she thought she had complied either through her gas engineer or by emailing the Health and Safety Executive her details.

The court found against her and heard how in June 2022 the council received a complaint from Robinson’s tenant after a gas leak led to the supply being cut-off with no heating or hot water in the property. A gas engineer also reported that he would be unable to repair corroded gas pipes until plumbing work was finished and how the gas boiler’s flue was sealed with builder’s foam.

In July 2022 the council served a legal notice to Robinson as landlord and this was hand posted at her home address. This notice required gas repairs to be done and a gas safety record to be produced to Sunderland council.

Under legislation, landlords are required to have a Gas Safety Certificate and an annual inspection of any gas appliance they provide to their rental property.

A further visit to the property by the council officer confirmed that repairs had been completed. The council continued making requests for information and the gas safety certificate during summer and autumn 2022. A legal caution was served in December 2022 and as there was no reply the council then began proceedings against Robinson.

A council spokesperson says: “Owning property and being a landlord brings with it important legal and health and safety responsibilities that must be met. These are especially important when it comes to gas safety and utility regulations. Failing to meet these responsibilities can have consequences.”

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