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Two landlords in court after baby suffers carbon monoxide poisoning

Two landlords from Bolton have been prosecuted after two tenants and their four-month-old baby were rushed to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.

What happened?

The two landlords found themselves in court after four gas appliances at a property they were renting to a young family were found to be unsafe. Additionally, it was discovered that they had failed to arrange an annual gas safety check as the law requires.

The couple moved into the rented property three months before their baby was due. After a couple of weeks the expectant mother began to suffer palpitations, headaches, and struggled with her breathing.

She was admitted to hospital for several days, as doctors assumed that her symptoms were linked to her pregnancy.

Her husband also began to get severe headaches and was prescribed codeine by his GP.

Some months later, the couple were in the flat minding their 4-month-old son, who they were concerned was unwell as he had been crying all day.

Shortly after, baby’s father began to suffer with a painful headache, not long before his wife began collapsed on the kitchen floor.

All three members of the family were then rushed to hospital and treated overnight for of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What was the outcome?

An investigation found that a gas-powered water heater that was installed in the kitchen did not have a flue, so therefore should have only been used for a maximum of five minutes at a time.

However, it had been connected to both the kitchen sink and the washing machine, and therefore was emitting high levels of carbon monoxide due to its overuse.

Additionally, the gas fire in the lounge and gas boiler in the kitchen were also found to be at risk of emitting harmful carbon monoxide.

The Landlords, Mehboob Bobat and Suraiya Bobat pleaded guilty to breaching the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, and were sentenced to 80 hours of community service and each ordered to pay costs of £720.

HSE Principal Inspector, Mike Sebastian, said:

“A young couple and their baby son were needlessly made ill for several
months because Mr and Mrs Bobat failed in their legal duties
as landlords to arrange an annual gas safety check.

“It’s shocking that all four of the gas appliances in the property had
the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning. If the baby’s
father hadn’t acted quickly to call an ambulance when he
wife collapsed then the effects could
easily have been fatal.

“Landlords must take their responsibilities seriously and make sure
houses they rent out are safe for their tenants. We will
continue to take legal action when
landlords ignore the law.”

If you have been affected by an incident such as this, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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