Oxford landlord fined £5000 for negligence

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An Oxford landlord has been ordered to pay almost £5000 after a faulty boiler could have put his student tenants at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Glaswegian GP, Dr Tariq Mahmood, appeared in Oxford Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty to breaching gas safety regulations at his property in East Oxford.

A gas installer first discovered that the boiler was out of order in December 2010, and further investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the boiler had been faulty for two years.

Following Mahmood’s hearing, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector Dozie Azubike commented, “Dr Mahmood’s lack of care could have had very serious consequences for his Oxford University student tenants.

‘Every year approximately 20 people die and many others suffer ill health from carbon monoxide poisoning. Unchecked gas appliances can become unsafe over time, exposing tenants to possible serious injuries or even fatality.

‘It is therefore vitally important that landlords fulfil their gas safety obligations to their tenants.”

A spokesperson for Oxford University commented, “We advise all students who are living out to know their rights and ensure that landlords undertake all necessary maintenance to ensure their safety. But we also recommend that every student in private accommodation should purchase and install an audible carbon monoxide alarm if one is not already fitted; it could save your life.”

Other Oxford students have expressed grievances about their landlords. A Pembroke Theology student told Cherwell, “We had an infestation of mice in our house. Despite promising to get pest control teams to exterminate the vermin, our landlord did nothing about it. Living out that year was hell.”

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