London landlord convicted for gas safety dangers

Published:  28 January, 2015

A Harrow-based landlord has received a suspended jail sentence and been fined £10,000 for putting his tenants’ lives in danger by carrying out illegal gas work at the flats he rented.

Vispasp Sarkari, who rented out five flats in a block on London Road in Wembley, was charged with a serious safety breach after a visiting National Grid engineer caught him ‘red-handed’ carrying out work on a boiler on 13 August 2013.

The visit followed a complaint that the landlord was working on gas fittings in a flat that was home to a family with children, Southwark Crown Court heard on 27 January.

Further investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found evidence that Mr Sarkari had carried out gas work at the block of flats on a number of occasions, despite the fact he was not Gas Safe registered. On the day of the visit by the National Grid, Mr Sarkari was working with another person also not Gas Safe registered.

Vispasp Sarkari of Hawthorne Avenue, Harrow, was sentenced to 12 months’ prison, suspended for two years; 150 hours’ unpaid community work; fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,978 in costs after admitting breaching the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations.

“The potential consequences arising from using unregistered and possibly incompetent gas fitters are significant and well-known. They include serious injury from fire, explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning,” said HSE inspector Lisa Chappell.

“As someone carrying out unregistered gas work, and allowing another person to undertake similar illegal work in his properties, Vispasp Sarkari put a number of the tenants, their families and friends, at serious risk of harm.”