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North-west London landlord convicted over gas safety dangers

A Harrow-based landlord has been given a suspended jail sentence and fined £10,000 for putting his tenants’ lives in danger by carrying out illegal gas work at the flats he owned.

Vispasp Sarkari of Hawthorne Avenue, Harrow, north-west London, rented out five flats in a block on London Road in Wembley. He was charged with a serious safety breach after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Southwark Crown Court heard on 27 January that Mr Sakari was caught “red-handed” on 13 August 2013 carrying out work on a boiler by a visiting National Grid engineer.

It followed a complaint that the landlord was working on gas fittings in a flat that was home to a family with children.

HSE found evidence that Mr Sarkari had carried out illegal gas work at the block of flats on a number of occasions, despite the fact he was not Gas Safe registered.

It is only by being registered with accreditation body Gas Safe that an individual or firm is legally entitled to undertake any work on gas fittings.

Mr Sarkari was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 150 hours’ unpaid community work, as well as being fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,978 in costs after admitting breaching the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Lisa Chappell said: “The potential consequences arising from using unregistered and possibly incompetent gas fitters are significant and well known. They include serious injury from fire, explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning.

“The regulations relevant to who should carry out work on gas appliances are unambiguous. As someone carrying out unregistered gas work, and allowing another person to undertake similar illegal work in his properties, Mr Sarkari put a number of the tenants, their families and friends at serious risk of harm.”

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