Landlord Appeals Suspended Prison Sentence For Tenant’s Death

Landlord Appeals Suspended Prison Sentence For Tenant's Death

The Court of Appeal heard a case of an amateur landlord who had been found guilty of causing her tenant’s death because she had not serviced the boiler and consequently she was given a suspended prison sentence and crippling fines. The Court of Appeal did not agree that the punishment was too harsh.

The 30-year-old boiler had not been serviced, there was no regular maintenance so the landlord was not aware that it was leaking carbon monoxide, which suffocated the tenant while he was asleep on the sofa, and killed him, it was lucky that his partner survived.

The landlord’s financial penalties included £4,000 in fines and ordered to pay costs of £17,500 along with a 16-month jail sentence which was suspended, she was further ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work. She admitted breaking the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

The Court dismissed her appeal that the punishment was too severe, she would be unable to pay the financial element and have to sell her home, and that the suspended jail sentence was too much. The Court acknowledged that she did not know that the boiler was faulty but that she as a landlord had a responsibility to her tenants.

The judge pointed out that had the court believed she completely disregarded the welfare of her tenants then the punishment would have been much harsher. The original judge had reduced the costs and allowed more time to pay, and he believed that the sentences were not too harsh, and commensurate with the charges she faced.

If you are would like more information about the responsibilities of being a Landlord or advice about tenants then please contact us by telephone at our Corby office on 01536 276300 or call our Kettering office on 01536 311690 or simply get in touch online by clicking here.

COVID-19 Information

We are OPEN and would like to reassure our client's that it is business as usual and as a firm we intend on supporting our clients through this difficult time. Please note: Clients are requested to wear face masks when attending our office(s). As a precautionary measure to limit the risk to everyone our preferred communication is by telephone and/or email and/or post. We may take a little longer to respond to enquiries and deal with matters. Please bear with us in these unprecedented times.