Social Landlord not prosecuted despite mass gas safety breaches!

by Property 118

10:02 AM, 4th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Social Landlord not prosecuted despite mass gas safety breaches!

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Social Landlord not prosecuted despite mass gas safety breaches!

Terry Lovett, of Lovett Sales and Lettings in St Neots told the Property Industry Eye that he is “incensed” Social landlord Luminus Homes has escaped prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after gas safety breaches and no certificates were found in over a thousand of its homes.

Terry does not believe any private agent or landlord would be let off so easily and sites an example in August where a private landlord was prosecuted for breaching the same law and ordered to pay nearly £18,000 when only one property was found to have a dangerous boiler and no gas safety certificate.

The HSE has written to former county councillor, Paul Bullen, who high lighted the issue after complaints from tenants: “It is clear from the evidence obtained breaches of the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 have occurred.

“However, it has been decided that no further action such as legal proceedings will be taken in respect of this matter by the Health and Safety Executive.

“For confirmation the breaches considered were – failure by Luminus Homes Ltd to ensure their gas appliances were checked for safety within 12 months during 2015-16.

“Subsequent inspections of the properties identified 43 appliances were classified as either at risk or immediately dangerous.”

“Luminus Homes Ltd had made these appliances safe before your concern was received by HSE. However, their legal duties have been made plain and if in future, evidence comes to light of similar offences by them, they may be prosecuted without further warning.”

However, Terry Lovett said: “For any organisation managing tenanted property to have just one gas appliance that has not been certified safe is a criminal offence subject to a £6,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.

“To have over 1,000 non compliant properties is beyond incompetence and all directors of Luminus should have faced the full force of the law if it is to discourage other landlords and managing agents from escaping their legal responsibilities.”

“Clearly this matter would have remained undiscovered with hundreds of tenants lives being put at risk if it hadn’t been brought to the attention of the HSE by a third party.

“I trust that if a member of my own staff misses one of the hundreds of gas safety inspections we carry out each year, we will be given the opportunity to issue a current certificate rather than face criminal proceedings.”



Comments

Sami Houmrani

8:37 AM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

This is the culture raising by politician. Don't be surprised if it doesn't blow up in there faces.

Gromit

10:11 AM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

I suspect this would have been handled very differently had there been a death as a result.

Luke P

10:37 AM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Barry Fitzpatrick at 05/01/2018 - 10:11
Indeed, but then folk would be calling for intervention at an earlier stage to prevent deaths -like perhaps a mandatory annual check, and stiff penalties for those that don't comply. Oh, wait...!

Richard U

12:38 PM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

It will take a massive fire in a high rise block of flats managed by a housing association, for people to realise the importance of fire safety and ensure that HA's stick to the rules. Oh wait...

John Mcgowan

14:11 PM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Litmus needed to be prosecuted but I expect that the old boys network has protected them. This is a complete disgrace and shows how corrupt the establishment are.

Luke P

14:59 PM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Perhaps we, collectively, should push for action to be taken. Surely we can't allow this to go relatively unnoticed and the the law should be implemented to the fullest extent.

I have noticed a few institutions (councils, police and now HSE) taking 'commercial decisions' not to pursue cases through the Courts. Is there no mandatory duty to take such action?

Ian Narbeth

15:30 PM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 05/01/2018 - 14:59
"I have noticed a few institutions (councils, police and now HSE) taking 'commercial decisions' not to pursue cases through the Courts. Is there no mandatory duty to take such action?"

Hi Luke, be careful what you wish for. It is right that in regulatory matters some discretion is available and is used. Would you really want every infraction of every rule to be prosecuted? Imagine if you were prosecuted because you were a few days late getting a gas safety certificate?

On the face of it the decision seems wrong in this case. It is unlikely the HSE will now bring a case as the issue has been resolved. However, suitable bad publicity in the Sun, Mail and Mirror might spur the HSE to take a tougher line in future.

David Price

19:08 PM, 5th January 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 05/01/2018 - 15:30
Ian I agree that some discretion is needed when a certificate is a few days late but this was not such a case. 1000 missing gas safety certificates and many risky appliances is gross incompetence not a minor oversight.

I am pleased to note that Gas inspections are to be brought into line with MOTs with a window in which to obtain a certificate and retain the anniversary.

Mark Crooks

7:15 AM, 6th January 2018
About 3 years ago

I suggest everyone who is angered by this should send a link to this article to their MP. This is outrageous.

http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/

Mandy Thomson

10:34 AM, 6th January 2018
About 3 years ago

This is exactly why the Fitness for Habitation bill needs to be passed.

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