Contractor guilty of enabling unregistered gas work

A self-employed property maintenance contractor has been sentenced to 200 hours community work and ordered to pay costs after arranging for an unqualified worker to fit a gas boiler and hob in the home of a couple in Exeter. The flue was installed incorrectly, leaving the installation in a dangerous condition and the couple at risk.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Nigel Borrough, the sole director of Collier Property Management Ltd, quoted for a kitchen re-fit which included the removal of an old gas boiler and the installation of a new gas boiler and hob. The work was undertaken during August 2017 with Mr Borrough using a number of different contractors to assist with the work. The person he got to undertake the gas work was not a member of Gas Safe Register.

When the homeowners requested the commissioning documents for the new gas boiler, Mr Borrough failed to provide these documents. Only after nine requests and 46 days after the boiler was left working but not commissioned did Mr Borrough reply to the homeowners and arrange for a landlord’s gas safety check to take place. However, a landlord’s gas safety check does not include any of the necessary commissioning gas safety tests, such as combustion analysis and operating gas pressure.

In October 2018, the homeowners arranged for a properly registered gas engineer to inspect the work. It was found it to be of poor standard and classed it as ‘immediately dangerous’. It was discovered that there was no access panel to allow a flue inspection, and there were also a number of ‘at risk’ defects on the boiler and hob.

Nigel Borrough of Hockworthy, near Wellington pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and Regulation 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work (etc) Act 1974. He has been sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay costs of £4500.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Borrough was in control of unregistered gas work. As a property professional he knew full well that the gas work must be undertaken by a member of Gas Safe Register but despite this he put the homeowners at serious risk by using a completely unqualified person to undertake his gas work.”

According to Devonlive.com, Mr Borrough was forced to shutter his business and went back to work as a farmer. The legal claims being brought against him have placed him in financial distress, and he is only able to pay the costs of this case because of a government business loan under the COVID interruption scheme.

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