Michael Vaughan, chairman of the bench at West Bromwich Magistrates’ Court,. spoke out after Sandeep Rajput, of Drews Holloway, Halesowen, was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £1,748 in costs.
He said: 'This is a very serious case and two people could have died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
“We would urge anyone tenant in a property with a gas appliance installed to ensure that their landlord has provided them with a current gas safety certificate and to urgently have the installation checked by a bona fide registered installer if they are in any doubt about the safety of a gas appliance or installation.
' We also warn landlords that they must ensure that gas appliances in rented properties are maintained and provided with a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate.
“On average 20 people are killed every year as a result of faulty gas appliances. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning tenants and landlords about potentially unsafe gas installations in tenanted properties.”
Rajput, manages the administrative matters relating to Smethwick property owned and let by his wife.
HSE started an investigation into the management of gas appliances in those rented properties after two tenants who lived in Sabell Road, Smethwick, began to feel unwell with headaches and grogginess in early 2008. These symptoms are consistent with those experienced with carbon monoxide poisoning.
On March 28 2008 the tenants contacted the gas supplier who condemned a fire due to a leaking pipe and other faults. On 29 September 2008 a second gas fire was condemned.
During 23 months of tenancy with Rajput as the person responsible, there was no current gas safety certificate for the property supplied to the tenants.
Rajput pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 36(2) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The Court heard that despite Rajput being aware, early in March 2008, of black soot marks above one of the gas fires and despite numerous attempts by the HSE to contact him there was no attempt made to rectify matters, to service appliances or to issue a legally-required Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.
Speaking after the case, Pam Folsom, one of the HSE's investigating inspectors, said: “Every conceivable effort was made, on a number of occasions, to contact Mr Rajput by letter, by phone and in person, in order to resolve the situation so there was no excuse for risking the lives of the tenants.
'Landlords must ensure that gas appliances installed in their rented properties are maintained and provided with a current Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.
“I urge landlords everywhere, if they have not already done so, to contact a gas fitter registered under the Gas Safe Register to make sure their gas appliances are safe.
'HSE would also urge any private tenant, in a property with a gas appliance installed, to ensure that their landlord has provided them with a current gas safety certificate.'