Outcry over failed prosecution for gas safety breaches

There has been outcry among the property industry following a decision not to prosecute a social landlord over breaches of gas safety in over 1,000 properties.

The investigation shone a light on Luminus Homes – which owns 7,300 properties in Cambridgeshire - who escaped prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive.

Although the organisation was found to have failed to provide annual gas safety certificates (the upshot of which was that there were 43 appliances classified as either ‘at risk’ or ‘immediately dangerous’ within the identified properties, and exposed tenants in more than 1,000 of it’s properties ‘to the risk of serious harm’ according to a report last year by the Homes and Communities Agency, no prosecution was made.

There has been speculation that should a private landlord have behaved in this manner, the outcome would have been quite different, and there is no way that the resolution would have been so lenient. In August 2017, a private landlord in nearby Haverfordwest was found to have a dangerous boiler and no gas safety certificate on just one rental property, and he was fined nearly £18,000

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that ‘their (Luminus Homes) legal duties [have been] made plain and if in future, evidence comes to light of similar offences by them, they may be prosecuted without further warning.’

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