Recent Case Law on Gas Servicing Obligations

There have been a number of recent cases in the Courts relating to the mandatory annual gas servicing obligation that all Landlords have to undertake:

Health & Safety Executive v Keith Downie (9 December 2014)

The Defendant had never been Gas Safe registered and was not competent to carry out gas safety certification work. He supplied fraudulent gas safety records to the landlords of at least three properties in the Darlington area between February and May 2012. At Darlington Magistrates’ Court he pleaded guilty to six breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 – three each of sections 3(2) and 33(1)(m). He was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment (suspended for 12 months), ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and required to pay £500 costs.

Health & Safety Executive v Barclay Ltd (10 December 2014)

The Defendant company was the private landlord of a number of properties in respect of which it failed to carry out annual gas safety inspections. At Westminster Magistrates’ Court it was fined a total of £6,500 and ordered to pay £1,822 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a charge of non-compliance with an enforcement notice.

Health & Safety Executive v Matthew Congdon (19 December 2014)

The Defendant, a director of Coastal Plumbing and Heating Ltd, claimed to be on the Gas Safe Register long after his registration had expired. He undertook a number of landlords’ gas safety checks for a managing agent, making them believe that he was a member of the Gas Safe Register. At Bodmin Magistrates’ Court, he pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined a total of £5,000 with costs of £418 and £700 compensation.

It is therefore important that all Landlords ensure the following:

  1. That all employees / contractors who are instructed to carry out gas safety certification work are registered and competent to carry out the work.
  2. That employees / contractors carrying out the work have current registration certificates.
  3. That Landlords take their responsibility seriously to carry out the annual gas servicing, and that it is done in good time, in advance of the annual anniversary.

At DWF we offer very competitive fixed fees for the 14 day warning letter to tenants for access to carry out the servicing, and also any necessary subsequent injunctions to secure access.

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

Kieran Walshe

Partner - Head of Commercial Insurance and Head of Equine

As Head of DWF's Commercial Insurance team I advise on a range of high value and/ or complex litigation matters and misfeasance cases.