Buy to let couple fined £40,000 for faking gas safety certificates

A Waltham Forest landlord and his gas safety engineer have both pleaded guilty to falsifying Gas Safety Certificates at Thames Magistrates Court and Snaresbrook Crown Court in landmark prosecutions.

A buy to let husband and wife cut corners and put the lives of their tenants at risks by lying about gas appliances and faking safety certificates. Landlord Tariq Hussain and his wife Nasim own 30 homes to rent in Waltham Forest, East London.

Mr Hussain persuaded gas engineer Muhammed Waseem to falsify gas safety certificates for four flats to show boilers were safe and had been recently serviced.

Waseem admitted four fraud charges at Thames Magistrates Court and was fined £200 for each offence plus £200 costs and a £30 victim surcharge. He will be removed from the Gas Safe register on approved engineers.

Mr Hussain pleaded guilty to four charges under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act at Snaresbrook Crown Court. He was fined £250 for each offence plus costs of £500 and £100 victim surcharge.

Mrs Hussain pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four housing offences for giving false or misleading information after she told officials that the four flats did not have any gas appliances. She was fined £40,000, plus costs of £1839.

“You were motivated by greed and used blatant dishonesty,” said the judge in sentencing.

“You are a woman of great experience in property management; it was your company, and your responsibility. You and your husband made huge amounts of money out of this – the government and people in general rightly take a very dim view of such offending.”

Councillor Louise Mitchell, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “This is a great result for tenants in Waltham Forest. This needless fraud could have cost Mr Hussain’s tenants far more than the price of a safety certificate – it could have cost them their lives. If you are a landlord we expect you to meet basic obligations to ensure your tenants’ safety,

Gas Safety Certificate Law Advice

Did you know that if you did not provide a gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy (be it a first agreement or written renewal after 1st October 2015), before the tenant moved in, you may find that any Section 21 notice served during the term is invalid? Hamilton Fraser Director and Founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, has written an article on this important issue: ‘Gas safety certificates and Section 21 – be compliant or you may pay the price.’ You can read the full article here.