Anyone who rents out a property has a legal duty to ensure that their property does not put their tenants at risk. This includes making sure that any gas appliances, such as boilers, are inspected and checked on an annual basis.
Such appliances must be checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer, and it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that this is the case.
Failure to do so exposes the tenants to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and the landlord to prosecution. An Oxford landlord found this out to his cost when it was found that he had failed to maintain the boiler in the property he was renting in Oxford for a period of almost two years.
This only came to light when an engineer was called out to repair the said boiler. He refused to service the boiler and called an emergency gas engineer, who condemned both the boiler and the flue and reported the situation to the HSE.
The landlord was prosecuted and given a Conditional Discharge for two years as well as being ordered to pay costs of almost £5,000. While this experience has proved costly, this landlord can be thankful that his negligence did not result in any loss of life.