Landlords have been reminded that failure to properly service the gas appliances in their rental homes is “totally unacceptable”.
Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector Stephen Manley said poorly maintained boilers and radiators can put tenants’ lives at risk.
He issued the warning after a landlord from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire was fined for breaching laws on gas safety.
The HSE discovered a number of defects to appliances in one of his rental properties. They also found that annual checks had not been carried out.
Furthermore, following the earlier disconnection of gas supplies, the landlord in question had re-instated them without carrying out repairs, inspectors claimed.
Asif Azam was fined £800 and ordered to pay legal costs of £2,000 after appearing in court.
Mr Manley said it was “very fortunate” that none of the landlord’s tenants where harmed in what was a “dangerous situation” for those living in the property.
Landlords have a legal responsibility under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange annual checks of pipework, appliances and flues by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Failure to do so can result in legal action, and could also have serious consequences for tenants.
HSE data shows that 15 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with domestic gas appliances in 2008-09.
In addition to arranging annual gas safety checks, buy-to-let property owners can also protect themselves and their tenants by obtaining landlord liability insurance.
This will provide cover in the event that a tenant suffers an accident as a result of faults within the property.