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Landlord fined over breach of safety law

The Health and Safety Executive is warning landlords to make sure they provide tenants with up-to-date gas safety certificates for the gas-powered appliances contained inside their properties.

The caution was issued following the HSE’s successful prosecution last week of a landlord renting properties in the Great Yarmouth area.

Madhu Bhajanehatti from Keston in Kent was fined £24,840 and ordered to pay £13,481 in costs by Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court for failing to comply with an HSE Improvement notices served under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Mr Bhajanehatti pleaded guilty to multiple breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 section 33 (1) (g). This states that it is an offence for a person to contravene any requirement or prohibition imposed by an improvement notice or a prohibition notice.

The prosecution followed Mr Bhajanehatti’s failure to comply with the notices which required him to obtain written gas safety records for each premise. He owned 12 flats in Wellington Road and Britannia Road, Great Yarmouth.

Martin Kneebone, an HSE inspector, said: “Anyone responsible for letting a property should ensure gas appliances are tested sufficiently to ensure that they are in a safe condition and working effectively and obtain a landlord gas safety certificate.

“You cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide fumes and symptoms can be similar to many common illnesses. In the worst situations, carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just hours.

“The failure to get appliances checked and keep documentation can put tenants at risk and the HSE will not tolerate nor hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law.”