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Vulnerable tenant lived in property with dangerous gas appliances

A landlord has been given a suspended prison sentence after he failed to maintain the gas appliances at his rental property in Penlan, Swansea.

HSE, prosecuting, told Swansea Magistrates’ Court that there were numerous faults with gas appliances at the property, found between May and June 2017. The HSE had received a complaint from the tenant’s advocate, a tenancy support worker for Swansea Young Families Scheme, Action for Children, who was acting on behalf of the vulnerable tenant.

Gas Safe Register inspectors discovered that the chimney/flue of the boiler in the attic had not been sealed properly so that products of combustion could enter the property, nor was it supported correctly. There were further boiler defects, and the tenant had not been provided with any temperature controls.

The gas cooker, which was owned by the tenant, had no stability chain or bracket fitted and the bayonet connection was not located correctly and hung down freely.

The gas supply was classified as Immediately Dangerous because the connection to the cap and liner meter outlet union had been made with an incorrect fitting and did not fit properly. The installation pipework sleeve at the meter position under the stairs was not sealed and the gas meter regulator operating pressure was not within the acceptable tolerance.

The court heard that landlord Tariq Shehadeh, who bought the property from his parents in 2007 but who now lives in Doha, Qatar, failed to have the gas appliances regularly inspected or maintained, and had failed to provide a landlord’s gas safety record. Mr Shehadeh later complied with Improvement Notices which required him to take action to deal with these issues.

Mr Shehadeh pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 28, 36(2), 36(3) and 36(4) of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 as amended. He was given a 12-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay full costs of £14,883.30.

HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells said after the hearing: “Landlords must ensure gas appliances at their tenanted properties are checked by a Gas Safe Register engineer at least every 12 months and are maintained in a safe condition.

“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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