Landlords ignore safety warnings & estate agent secretly lets home

Posted: 11/06/2012

Wakefield Council and the Health and Safety Executive were forced to take action after a landlord ignored several warnings about the safety of his rented accommodation.

The landlord, Mohammed Fhaim Hanif was first contacted by Wakefield Council after his tenant spoke to them with concerns about the gas safety. The tenant moved into the home in February 2009 but was not supplied with a copy of the gas safety record.

Wakefield Council wrote to Mr Hanif in May 2010 asking to see a copy of the gas safety record, but he did not reply. At this point, the Health and Safety Executive became involved and two more letters were sent to Mr Hanif in August and September but again, there was no response.

The Health and Saftey Executive then served Mr Hanif with an Improvement Notice which required safety checks to be carried out on the property before the end of November but yet again, no action was taken by Mr Hanif.

After numerous failed attempts by both Wakefield Council and the Health and Safety Executive, they launched a prosecution against Mr Hanif due to the lack and disregard for safety of his tenant.

Mr Hanif denied the offences but was found guilty of disobey the Gas Safety Regulations and also failing to comply with an Improvement Notice. He risked his tenant’s life by not carrying out essential gas safety tests and therefore, was ordered to pay £1,000 towards costs and was fined £450.

An inspector from the Health and Safety Executive, Dr Angus Robbins commented on the situation, ‘Every year, around 20 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning because of faulty gas appliances. This is a clear case of putting profit above a person’s safety.’

It is very important for a landlord to know the importance of the gas safety checks and their legal responsibilities when renting their property. Gas checks must be carried out by a Gas Safety registered engineer who will produce a safety record for the property where a copy must be supplied to the tenant.

In a related story, a landlord in West Bromwich was fined £4,000 after ignoring a council order to repair his dangerous rented accommodation. The sub-let property had no heating or hot water, dangerous electrics and was mouldy, damp with rotten widows.

The landlord, Mr Barham, failed to comply with the Sandwell Magistrates Court improvement order and was fined another £31,723.

In other news, an estate agent secretly let an empty home he was supposed to be selling for the owner. Daniel Morriss from Your Move thought it was a good idea to make some extra money by renting a fully furnished, two bed house for £500 a month in Surrey.

Mr Morriss advertised the property online but was discovered when a prospective tenant viewing the home met the owner of the property. He was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting theft and fraud to the Croydon Magistrates Court.

If you’re a landlord, what are your thoughts of the above offences and if you’re a tenant and have ever experienced a similar situation, how did you deal with it?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments Landlord, estate agent, tenant, court, council

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