Landlord fined after tenements found to have dangerous gas work

A landlord has been fined £4,500 after failing to ensure that gas safety record checks were carried out in flats in an old tenement block.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that from late winter 2013 to early spring 2014, David Mackman from Kirknewton said he was the landlord for at least 15 flats in the block. The majority of the flats had gas boilers and some served more than one flat but the court heard that tenants had not been provided with landlords’ gas safety records.

HSE investigated after receiving a complaint from a tenant and its inspectors attended the flats when Mr Mackman failed to respond. The inspectors gained access to several flats and identified gas safety concerns. They again attempted to make contact the landlord during this visit but failed. Because of the gas safety concerns, Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) also attended.

The inspectors and SGN engineers found further gas safety faults after gaining access to more flats. SGN classified the work as Immediately Dangerous and disconnected the gas supply to several properties. Despite HSE’s repeated attempts to contact the landlord, he did not attend the flats to assist with the investigation.

At a later visit, warning notices were again issued to a number of flats. Mr Mackman attended during this visit and HSE inspectors issued him with 15 Improvement Notices to make sure that all gas safety issues were identified and rectified by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer, and to obtain a landlords’ gas safety record.

David Stuart Mackman of Shepherd’s Keep, Colzium, Kirknewton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 36(3)(b) of the Gas (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay a £175 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Katherine Gostick said: “It was very fortunate that Mr Mackman’s failure to carry out important landlord gas safety checks did not result in a number of deaths in the flats he rented out, where the unsafe gas appliances were leaking poisonous fumes.”

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