Sheffield landlord fined £17,000 over breaching gas laws

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A PRIVATE landlord has been fined £17,000 for a series of safety breaches that left a Sheffield family at risk from a dangerous boiler fitted by an unregistered gas fitter.

Sima Yaqub, of Crescent Road, Sharrow, appeared before city magistrates charged with five breaches of gas safety regulations following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

The HSE told the court Ms Yaqub, who owns a rental property on City Road, had demonstrated ‘a complete disregard’ for the safety of the family who rented her house.

Inspectors found the landlord never provided her tenants with a gas safety record, used an unregistered gas fitter to install a boiler - leaving it in a dangerous condition - and ignored a warning notice from the National Grid after they capped the gas supply to the appliance.

The court was told the same unregistered fitter was sent back to reconnect the boiler without fixing the faults, and it was used for weeks until it was capped off for a second time.

Magistrates heard Yaqub’s tenants moved into the City Road house in July 2011 and, after the boiler repeatedly broke down, the landlord replaced it with a second-hand one using an unregistered fitter to install it.

Yaqub was fined a total of £17,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,916 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching gas safety rules.

HSE Inspector Denise Fotheringham said: “Sima Yaqub has shown a wilful and consistent disregard for the welfare and safety of the tenant and her family and has neglected her duty of care as a landlord over many months.

“She did not provide a Landlord’s Gas Safety Record from the outset of the tenancy to show that appliances had had an annual safety check. She used an unregistered fitter to install a boiler and, later, in the full knowledge it had been left in a dangerous condition, then went on to use him again to reconnect it, leaving it still a danger to her tenants.

“She exposed a family to a dangerous appliance that could have resulted in serious injury or death.”