Seaham landlord fined over documents after gas leak at Sunderland property

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A landlord who failed to produce annual gas safety certificates as she ignored warnings from the City Council, has left court with a bill for nearly £1,500.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how Tracey Robinson of West Farm, Cold Hesledon, Seaham, had under the Housing Act 2004 breached her duties as the landlord of a terraced house in Sorley Street, Sunderland, when she failed to produce the gas safety certificate and other documents.

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She was ordered to pay court costs of £1,236.86, a fine of £180 and a £72 victim surcharge.

Ms Robinson had pleaded not guilty and the case went to trial.

She said in her defence that she had moved house and had not received mail sent to her and she thought she had complied either through her gas engineer or by emailing the Health and Safety Executive her details.

The court found against her and had heard how in June 2022 the city council received a complaint from Ms Robinson's Sorley Street tenant after a gas leak led to the supply being cut-off with no heating or hot water for tenants.

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A gas engineer also reported that he would be unable to repair corroded gas pipes until plumbing work was finished and how the gas boiler’s flue was sealed with builder’s foam, the council said.

In July 2022 the city council served a legal notice to Ms Robinson as landlord and this was hand posted at her home address.

This notice required gas repairs to be done and a gas safety record to be produced to Sunderland City Council.

Under legislation, landlords are required to have a Gas Safety Certificate and an annual inspection of any gas appliance they provide to their rental property.

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A further visit to the property by the council officer confirmed that repairs had been completed, the authority said.

The council said it continued making requests for information and the gas safety certificate during summer and autumn 2022.

A legal caution was served in December 2022 and as there was no reply the council then began proceedings against Ms Robinson.

Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council and Cabinet Member for Clean Green City, Councillor Claire Rowntree said: "Owning property and being a landlord brings with it important legal and health and safety responsibilities that must be met.

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"These are especially important when it comes to gas safety and utility regulations. Failing to meet these responsibilities can have consequences."

If tenants smell gas or are worried about gas safety they should call the national Gas Emergency line on 0800111999. It can give safety advice and may send out a Northern Gas Networks engineer to complete safety checks.


The case was heard on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.


A check-list for landlords and tenants is here: how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england

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