Torquay landlord fined for not undertaking safety checks

The landlord of a property in Torquay risked the lives of his tenants by not undertaking annual safety checks on gas appliances in the property.

John Marshall was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at Torquay Magistrates Court following an investigation.

HSE began inquiries when the tenant alerted them to the lack of a gas safety certificate for the property on Belgrave Road, Torquay.

During the investigation it became apparent that Torbay Council had been asking for a copy of a landlord’s gas safety record for the property since 2008 but that Mr Marshall had never sent them a copy.

In 2011 HSE requested a copy of the landlord’s gas safety record from Mr Marshall but he did not send a copy. In 2012 he had a new gas boiler installed at the property partly funded by Torbay Council and a landlord’s gas safety check should then have taken place in 2013 but Mr Marshall could not produce a copy of the inspection record to prove that this check had taken place.

The matter came to a head in November 2014 when the current tenant of the property raised concerns with HSE over a lack of a gas safety record and HSE served an Improvement Notice on Mr Marshall.

John Marshall of College Road, Newton Abbot pleaded guilty to a breach of gas safety regulations. He was fined a total of £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,686.50.

HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, speaking after the hearing, said: “Landlords have a legal duty to carry out annual gas safety checks which are there to protect their tenants from death or injury.

“In this case, Mr Marshall ignored repeated requests to carry out the checks and to provide a copy of the safety record.”

Further information about landlords’ responsibilities for gas supply can be found on the HSE website at

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2.  Regulation 36(3)(a) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states: “A landlord shall ensure that each appliance and flue to which that duty extends is checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and at intervals of not more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety (whether such check was made pursuant to these Regulations or not)”
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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